Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has accused General Motors of corporate espionage as the two companies’ ongoing legal spat continued in Michigan court this week.
GM’s lawsuit against FCA, which alleged that it was directly impacted by FCA’s bribery scheme with the UAW, was thrown out by Judge David Allen last month. GM subsequently requested the lawsuit be reinstated in Wayne County Circuit Court – a move that FCA is trying to block by turning the tables on GM.
According to The Detroit News, FCA is now saying that GM’s complaint against it proves the company impersonated former FCA employees in emails in order to try and prove that it was using offshore bank accounts to stash its UAW bribery money.
“The only corporate espionage apparent on the face of GM’s Proposed Second Amended Complaint is that perpetrated by GM and its counsel in retaining private investigators to spoof the ’email addresses’ of former FCA employees in emails sent to ‘financial institutions’ around the globe,” FCA’s lawyer, Thomas Cranmer, said in a written response to GM’s reinstatement request.
“However GM seeks to dress it up, such spoofing of email addresses violates Michigan’s Rules of Professional Conduct,” Crammer also said.
A GM spokesperson told The Detroit News that FCA’s response misrepresents “the lawful and proper actions undertaken in an effort to seek redress for the damage caused to it by Defendants’ years-long bribery scheme.”
GM filed its initial lawsuit against FCA in 2019, which accused the automaker of conspiring with the UAW in order to receive preferential treatment during labor negotiations with the union. The automaker said this cost it billions of dollars, as the UAW did not offer GM the same concessions during the negotiations that it offered one of its direct rivals. Judge Allen dismissed the suit in October after finding that GM “failed to adequately demonstrate that FCA caused it any actual, legally recognizable harm through its bribery scheme.”