In re: General Motors LLC Ignition Switch Litigation
Plaintiff: GM Ignition Switch MDL Plaintiffs, Austin DePalma and Jomaka Coleman
Defendant: GM Ignition Switch MDL Defendants
Case Number: 1:2014mc02543
Filed: June 26, 2014
Court: US District Court for the Southern District of New York
Office: Foley Square Office
County: Albany
Presiding Judge: Jesse M. Furman
Nature of Suit: Other

Available Case Documents

The following documents for this case are available for you to view or download:

Date Filed Document Text
May 28, 2021 Opinion or Order Filing 435 ORDER APPROVING ECONOMIC LOSS CLASS COUNSEL APPROVAL OF ALLOCATION OF ATTORNEYS' FEES AND COSTS: IT IS ORDERED that the Motion is GRANTED. The allocation of fees and expenses among Participating Counsel in the amounts appearing in Exhibits A and B hereto is approved. Economic Loss Class Counsel may pay the fee and expense allocation within 30 days of this Order. The Clerk of Court is directed to terminate 14-MD-2543, ECF No. 8415. SO ORDERED. (Signed by Judge Jesse M. Furman on 5/28/2021) (kv) Transmission to Finance Unit (Cashiers) for processing.
May 19, 2021 Opinion or Order Filing 434 OPINION AND ORDER re: (8415 in 1:14-md-02543-JMF) MOTION Approval of Allocation of Attorneys' Fees and Costs re: (8307) Order, Terminate Motions, Notice of Motion and Economic Loss Class Counsel's Motion for Approval of Alloc ation of Attorneys' Fees and Costs filed by GM Ignition Switch MDL Plaintiffs, (8387 in 1:14-md-02543-JMF) MOTION for Summary Judgment on the Claims of Norma Robinson as Administrator of the Estate of Cleon Davis. filed by General Motors LLC. For the reasons stated above, the first two sets of objections from the Objectors are overruled, but the Court reserves judgment on their third set of objections and, by extension, on Class Counsel's motion for approval of their proposed allocations of fees and costs pending the additional submissions described above. SO ORDERED. (Signed by Judge Jesse M. Furman on 5/19/2021) (kv)
January 8, 2021 Opinion or Order Filing 430 ORDER NO. 174 [Regarding Certain Economic Loss Actions Dismissed with Prejudice by the December 18, 2020 Final Order and Final Judgment]. IT IS ORDERED that by Monday, January 25, 2021, Stephen Yagman shall indicate in a filing made on the main MDL 2543 docket as well as in his individual docket the specific factual and legal bases as to why he believes the claims pled in his operative complaint are not released under the Settlement Agreement and dismissed with prejudice under the Final Order and Final Judgment. The Court notes that Mr. Yagman's name does not appear on the list of opt-outs determined to be valid in the Final Order and Final Judgment (ECF No. 8306 at 6, 17-19), and thus Mr. Yagman's filing shall address whether a nd how he timely and validly opted out of the Class Settlement. New GM shall file any response to Mr. Yagman's filing by February 5, 2021. Mr. Yagman shall file any reply by February 12, 2021. SO ORDERED. (Signed by Judge Jesse M. Furman on 1/8/21) (yv)
December 18, 2020 Opinion or Order Filing 428 FINAL ORDER AND FINAL JUDGMENT GRANTING FINAL APPROVAL OF THE ECONOMIC LOSS CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT, CONFIRMING CERTIFICATION OF THE ECONOMIC LOSS SETTLEMENT CLASS, AND DISMISSING ALL ACTIONS WITH PREJUDICE: IT IS HEREBY ORDERED, ADJUDGED, AND DECREED: Jurisdiction. The Court has personal jurisdiction over all Plaintiffs, the Class and all Class Members, New GM, the GUC Trust, and AAT, as well as subject matter jurisdiction over the claims asserted in the Fifth Amended Consolidated Comp laint filed in In re: General Motors LLC Ignition Switch Litigation, Case No. 14-MD-2543 (JMF) on September 8, 2017 ("5ACC") and the Actions. Venue in the Southern District of New York is proper. As further set forth in this Order. F inal Approval of Class Settlement. In accordance with its Final Approval Order, the Court hereby grants final approval to the Settlement Agreement as fair, reasonable, and adequate pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(e). The Settlement Ag reement provides ample benefits to the Class and avoids protracted litigation, among numerous other advantages. The Court finds that the Settlement Agreement, with respect to Class Members who are minors, lack capacity, or are incompetent, is fair , reasonable, and adequate. The Court authorizes the Parties to implement the terms of the Settlement Agreement and enjoins the Parties from failing to implement the terms. Overruling of Objections. The Class Member objection filed by Mr. Richard H. Warren (ECF No. 8122) is overruled. The objection filed by Ms. Kisha M. Davis, as personal representative of the estate of her mother, Class Member Mary L. Davis (ECF No. 8216), is also overruled. Class Certification for Settlement Purposes Only. As further set forth in this Order. Common Fund. Pursuant to the Settlement Agreement, all Settlement Implementation Expenses shall be paid from the Common Fund, which was established as a Qualified Settlement Fund under § 468B(d)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code and Treasury Regulation § 1.468B-1 pursuant to this Court's Preliminary Approval Order, by the court-approved Qualified Settlement Fund Administrator and Trustee, Flora Bian of JND; however, all such Settlem ent Implementation Expenses shall be paid from the Common Fund only upon either (i) written approval by Plaintiffs' Class Counsel, New GM, and the GUC Trust or (ii) leave of Court. The Court finds that, pursuant to Paragraph 88.a of the Settl ement Agreement, following entry of the GUC Trust Approval Order, the Withdrawal Order, and the Preliminary Approval Order, New GM and the GUC Trust deposited, respectively, $8,800,000.00 and $2,000,000.00 into the Common Fund. As further set forth in this Order. Entry of Final Judgment. The Clerk of the Court is expressly directed to immediately enter this Final Order and Final Judgment in the Actions listed in Appendix C. The Clerk is further directed to terminate 14-MD-2543, EC F No. 8240 and 14-MC-2543, ECF No. 409 and to close Elliott, et al. v. General Motors LLC, et al., No. 14-CV-8382; Bledsoe, et al. v. General Motors LLC, No. 14-CV-7631; and Sesay, et al. v. General Motors LLC, et al., No. 14-CV-6018. As further set forth in this Order. SO ORDERED. (Signed by Judge Jesse M. Furman on 12/18/2020) (ks)
November 24, 2020 Opinion or Order Filing 422 ORDER: [Regarding Access to the December 18, 2020 Fairness Hearing, Which Will Be Conducted Remotely by Telephone Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic] On April 27, 2020, the Court preliminarily approved a proposed class action settlementin this litigation a nd scheduled a Fairness Hearing for December 18, 2020, at 9:30 a.m. as described in the preliminary approval order. See ECF No. 7877, Paragraph 39. In light of the COVID-19 situation, the Fairness Hearing scheduled for December 18, 2020 at 9:30 a.m. will be held by remotely by telephone using the Court's dedicated conference call system (not Court Call). At least forty-eight hours before the conference, Plaintiffs' Liaison Counsel shall email to the Court the names and telephone number s of those who willhave speaking roles at the conference, and the Court will provide call-in information to Liaison Counsel to provide to those counsel. All others counsel who will not have speaking roles and members of the public may listen to the conference by calling (888) 363-4749 and using access code 542-1540 followed by the pound (#) key. The parties are reminded to follow theprocedures for teleconferences described in the Court's Emergency Individual Rules and Practices in Light o f COVID-19, which are available at https://nysd.uscourts.gov/hon-jesse-mfurman. Finally, the parties are ordered to ensure the MDL Website includes a copy of this Order and provides the relevant dial-in information for accessing the Fairness Hearing. SO ORDERED., ( Fairness Hearing set for 12/18/2020 at 09:30 AM before Judge Jesse M. Furman.) (Signed by Judge Jesse M. Furman on 11/24/2020) (ama)
August 10, 2020 Opinion or Order Filing 400 AMENDED OPINION AND ORDER. The Firms' motions are GRANTED in part and DENIED in part. In particular, the Court concludes that Order No. 42 applies to the Firms' clients' related unfiled claims and to state-court cases in which the Fi rms used Common Benefit Work Product, but it does not apply to state-court cases in which the Firms did not use Common Benefit Work Product. Further, the Court concludes that Order No. 42 is a permissible exercise of its inherent authority over th is litigation and the parties and counsel appearing before it. Additionally, the Firms are ORDERED to review their files relating to each of their related state-court matters, including those not at issue here, to determine whether they used Commo n Benefit Work Product within the meaning of Order No. 42. No later than thirty days from the date of this Opinion and Order, each Firm must file an affidavit that (1) identifies its related state-court cases and (2) with respect to each, either co nfirms that the Firm did not use Common Benefit Work Product or concedes that it did. If the Court later concludes that a Firm incorrectly represented in its affidavit that it did not use Common Benefit Work Product, the Court will impose the asse ssment, plus appropriate sanctions. Finally, pursuant to Order No. 77, if Lead Counsel, the Firms, or New GM believe that sealed or redacted materials related to this motion should remain sealed or redacted, they shall file a letter brief regarding the propriety of doing so no later than one week from the date of this Opinion and Order. See ECF No. 1349, at 4. The Clerk of Court is directed to terminate ECF Nos. 7368 and 7398. SO ORDERED. (Signed by Judge Jesse M. Furman on 8/10/20) (yv)
August 7, 2020 Opinion or Order Filing 397 OPINION AND ORDER [Regarding Common Benefit Assessments on State Cases and Unfiled Matters]. The Firms' motions are GRANTED in part and DENIED in part. In particular, the Court concludes that Order No. 42 applies to the Firms' clients' ; related unfiled claims and to state-court cases in which the Firms used Common Benefit Work Product, but it does not apply to state-court cases in which the Firms did not use Common Benefit Work Product. Further, the Court concludes that Order No. 42 is a permissible exercise of its inherent authority over this litigation and the parties and counsel appearing before it. Additionally, the Firms are ORDERED to review their files relating to each of their related state-court matters, including th ose not at issue here, to determine whether they used Common Benefit Work Product within the meaning of Order No. 42. No later than three weeks from the date of this Opinion and Order, each Firm must file an affidavit that (1) identifies its related state-court cases and (2) with respect to each, either confirms that the Firm did not use Common Benefit Work Product or concedes that it did. If the Court later concludes that a Firm incorrectly represented in its affidavit that it did not use Commo n Benefit Work Product, the Court will impose the assessment, plus appropriate sanctions. Finally, pursuant to Order No. 77, if Lead Counsel, the Firms, or New GM believe that sealed or redacted materials related to this motion should remain sealed o r redacted, they shall file a letter brief regarding the propriety of doing so no later than one week from the date of this Opinion and Order. See ECF No. 1349, at 4. The Clerk of Court is directed to terminate ECF Nos. 7368 and 7398. SO ORDERED. (Signed by Judge Jesse M. Furman on 8/7/20) (yv)
June 26, 2020 Opinion or Order Filing 396 ORDER NO. 172: [Regarding Sealed and Redacted Filings]: The Court previously granted parties in this action permission to temporarily file documents under seal or in redacted form without first obtaining specific court approval and required that they contemporaneously file a notice that a document was filed under seal. ECF No. 4567 ("Order No. 133"). At the time that the Court issued Order No. 133, the Electronic Case Filing System in the Southern District of New York did not allow par ties to restrict viewing access to a document filed on the docket, and it was therefore impossible for parties to file sealed or unredacted documents electronically. The Courts then-operative Individual Rules and Practices in Civil Cases therefore re quired parties to email unsealed and unredacted (clean and highlighted) versions of their filings to the Court. The Districts Electronic Case Filing System was recently changed to allow parties to restrict viewing access to documents filed on the doc ket, and the Court revised its Individual Rules and Practices in Civil Cases to reflect those changes. Going forward, parties should file any proposed sealed or redacted documents in accordance with Rules 7.C.ii-iv of the Court's Individual Rule s and Practices in Civil Cases, which are available at https://nysd.uscourts.gov/hon-jesse-m-furman. For the reasons stated in Order No. 133, however, the parties may temporarily file documents under seal or in redacted form, and they therefore do no t need to file a letter-motion seeking the Court's specific permission. Parties should link all sealed filings to this Order or to Order No. 133, in accordance with Rule 6.12 of the Electronic Case Filing Rules & Instructions, available at https ://nysd.uscourts.gov/rules/ecf-related-instructions. In light of the fact that a docket entry for any sealed or redacted filings will appear on the docket, the parties also need not file a notice that a document was filed under seal. Except to the extent modified here, Order No. 133 remains in effect. SO ORDERED. (Signed by Judge Jesse M. Furman on 6/26/2020) (jca)
June 1, 2020 Opinion or Order Filing 395 ORDER NO. 170 [Regarding the Closure of Certain MDL 2543 Member Cases]... The Clerk of Court is directed close the cases listed in Exhibit A. Any party who believes that a case has been erroneously closed by this Order shall, no later than June 18, 2020, file a letter motion to re-open the case and explain why the case should remain open. Any party opposing a motion to re-open one of the cases closed pursuant to this Order shall file a response brief within 10 days after the motion to re-open i s filed. Nothing in this Order shall be construed as a judgment under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 54 or 58, nor shall this Order be construed as re-opening the time for seeking post-judgment relief or filing an appeal. SO ORDERED. (Signed by Judge Jesse M. Furman on 6/1/20) (yv)
May 27, 2020 Opinion or Order Filing 394 ORDER NO. 169: [Regarding Future Access to MDL Documents Production] For good cause shown, the Court adopts the following procedures for all remaining future personal injury/wrongful death ("PIWD") Plaintiffs to access MDL 2543 document productions, depositions and exhibits, and Common Benefit Work Product as further set forth herein. The Clerk of Court is directed to terminate ECF No. 7956. SO ORDERED. (Signed by Judge Jesse M. Furman on 5/26/2020) (ks)
May 4, 2020 Opinion or Order Filing 393 SUPPLEMENTING ORDER GRANTING PRELIMINARY APPROVAL OF CLASS SETTLEMENT, DIRECTING NOTICE UNDER RULE 23(E), AND GRANTING RELATED RELIEF in case 1:14-cv-02458-JMF; granting (7888 in 14-md-2543) Motion for Settlement in case 1:14-md-02543-JMF. IT IS HERE BY ORDERED AS FOLLOWS: The Court hereby preliminarily approves the revised provisions of the Amended Settlement Agreement, including the amended Class Notice exhibits (Exhibits 5, 11, 12, 16 and 17), for substantially the same reasons as stated in th e Preliminary Approval Order. At the time that the Court entered the Preliminary Approval Order, the Court had already been informed of the terms of the agreement-in-principle with the AAT and finds that the incorporation of those terms in the Amended Settlement Agreement does not alter any of its previous findings. The Clerk of Court is directed to terminate ECF No. 7888. IT IS SO ORDERED. (Signed by Judge Jesse M. Furman on 5/4/20) (yv)
April 20, 2020 Opinion or Order Filing 390 ORDER. Per the Court's Emergency Individual Rules and Practices, the hearing scheduled in this case for April 23, 2020, at 9:30 a.m. will be conducted telephonically. The Court has arranged for the use of CourtCall, an independent conference ca ll company, to enable the parties, counsel, and anyone interested (including members of the public and press) to attend remotely. Counsel for the parties must call CourtCall's reservation desk at (888) 882-6878, or make a reservation online at w ww.courtcall.com, no later than 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time on April 22, 2020. CourtCall will charge parties and counsel participating in the conference $35 for the first 45 minutes, and $7.50 for each 15-minute increment thereafter. The Court h as received the parties' list of attorneys who will attend and speak at the conference. If there are any changes to these lists, the parties shall notify the Court no later than 1:00 p.m. on April 22, 2020. Any changes after that time may be mad e only with express leave of Court, which should be requested by email at Furman_NYSDChambers@nysd.uscourts.gov. To ensure public access to the conference, the Court has arranged for CourtCall to provide a toll-free number for members of the pub lic and press to listen to the conference. Members of the public and press should call (855) 855-8556, and enter access code 587-8792, followed by the pound (#) key. There will be no charge for using this line. Anyone using this line will be in "listen-only" mode and will not be able to speak during the proceedings. SO ORDERED. (Signed by Judge Jesse M. Furman on 4/20/20) (yv)
April 6, 2020 Opinion or Order Filing 389 ORDER NO. 168: The undersigned and the Honorable Martin Glenn will hold a joint hearing on the above-referenced motions on April 23, 2020 at 9:30 a.m. Unless the Courts order otherwise, the hearing will be held by telephone in light of the current public health situation. The Courts will issue orders in due course explaining how to participate in, or listen to, the telephone conference. Counsel shall promptly and prominently post this Order and call-in information on the MDL website (www.gmign itionmdl.com). No later than 1:00 p.m. on April 16, 2020, Lead Counsel, counsel for New GM, and counsel for the GUC Trust shall provide this Court with a list of any participants who should be granted speaking privileges for the conference. Unless th e Court orders otherwise for good cause shown by letter motion in advance of the conference, all other participants in the telephone conference will be in listen-only mode. In light of the foregoing, the Court concludes that other pending motions rel ated to the Economic Loss Plaintiffs' claims can and should be terminated without prejudice to renewal in the event that the proposed settlement is not approved or otherwise consummated. The Clerk of Court is therefore directed to terminate 14-M D-2543, ECF Nos. 6065, 7095, and 7100. If counsel for any party believes that any other motion can and should be terminated, they shall so advise the Court. SO ORDERED. (Signed by Judge Jesse M. Furman on 4/6/2020) ( Telephone Conference set for 4/23/2020 at 09:30 AM before Judge Jesse M. Furman.) (ks)
March 4, 2020 Opinion or Order Filing 381 ORDER NO. 167: Regarding Procedures and Schedule for Wave Four Targeted Discovery and Motion Practice and Additional Wave Pools to Address Remaining Personal Injury Claims -- Given the remarkable success of the "wave" process in this multid istrict litigation ("MDL") to date, the Court agrees with New GM that a Wave Four should be adopted to address the remaining personal injury and wrongful death claims (many of which were filed after the previous waves were adopted) and any new claims filed in the future. For good cause shown, the Court thus adopts the following schedule and procedures for Wave Four discovery of and motion practice regarding the remaining personal injury and wrongful death cases, as well any new claims that may be filed and consolidated going forward. That said, the Court is sympathetic to Lead Counsel's concerns regarding claims that have been pending in this MDL for a significant amount of time. See ECF No. 7783, at 3. To help ensure that su ch claims are advanced more quickly, with an eye toward settlement or remand, the Court would be open to adopting more "aggressive" procedures claims that were initially filed before January 1, 2017 (i.e., the first seven claims listed in E CF No. 7783-2), including but not limited to perhaps allowing "bilateral fact and expert discovery" for such claims. Id. at 5. Lead Counsel and counsel for New GM shall meet and confer to discuss the issue and, no later than March 13, 2020, submit an agreed-upon proposed order with respect to these claims or competing orders and letter briefs. Unless and until the Court adopts additional or different procedures for such claims, they shall be subject to the schedule and procedures set forth herein. (SEE ORDER.) (Signed by Judge Jesse M. Furman on 3/4/2020) Filed In Associated Cases: 1:14-md-02543-JMF et al. (ab)
December 30, 2019 Opinion or Order Filing 380 ORDER NO. 166: [Regarding the December 18, 2019 Status Conference] The Court, having held a status conference on December 18, 2019, and having given counsel an opportunity to be heard on the agenda items set forth in the parties' tentative agend a letter (ECF No. 7619), as well as the Court's December 16, 2019 Order (ECF No. 7626), issues this Order to memorialize the actions taken and rulings made at the status conference. A status conference will be held Friday, January 31, 2020, at 9 :30 a.m. EST in Courtroom 1105 of the Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse, 40 Centre Street, New York, New York. Consistent with the Court's comments at the status conference, by Wednesday, January 8, 2020, New GM and counsel for plaintif f Sunita Bhandari will submit a joint letter proposing next steps for Ms. Bhandari's claims. Consistent with the procedures set forth in Order No. 72 (ECF No. 1237), New GM shall file a consolidated response to the Conner Plaintiffs' motion to vacate (ECF No. 7628) and any other timely motion that may be filed relating to the Courts November 21, 2019 order (ECF No 7474) by Monday, January 6, 2020. Plaintiffs' reply, if any, shall be filed by Monday, January 13, 2020. Consistent wi th the Court's comments at the status conference, by Wednesday, January 15, 2020, Lead Counsel and New GM shall submit a joint proposal or competing proposals regarding next steps for the economic loss plaintiffs. SO ORDERED. (Responses due by 1/6/2020, Replies due by 1/13/2020., Status Conference set for 1/31/2020 at 09:30 AM in Courtroom 1105, 40 Centre Street, New York, NY 10007 before Judge Jesse M. Furman.) (Signed by Judge Jesse M. Furman on 12/30/2019) (jca)
December 12, 2019 Opinion or Order Filing 378 OPINION AND ORDER re: (7055 in 1:14-md-02543-JMF) MOTION for Reconsideration re; (7019) Memorandum & Opinion, Economic Loss Plaintiffs' Motion for Reconsideration of the Court's August 6, 2019 Summary Judgment Opinion and Order or, in the A lternative, Motion for Cert filed by GM Ignition Switch MDL Plaintiffs. Plaintiffs fail to persuade the Court that it erred in its summary judgment ruling, and they certainly do not satisfy the strict standards that govern motions for reconsideration . Nevertheless, although the question is a close one, the Court concludes that certification of an interlocutory appeal is appropriate. The Court does not make this decision lightly. An interlocutory appeal (if the Second Circuit accepts it) would re sult in potentially lengthy delay, and this litigation is already in its sixth year, with no end in sight absent a settlement. But the Court is not infallible. And, in the judicial system of this Nation, it is not intended to be final. Cf. Brown v. A llen, 344 U.S. 443, 540 (1953) (Jackson, J., concurring) (observing that the Supreme Court is not final because [it is] infallible, but [is] infallible only because [it is] final). Yet, absent an interlocutory appeal, the Court might well have the on ly and thus final word on these important issues. Moreover, an interlocutory appeal would not necessarily mean a halt to the steady progress of this litigation. Even if the Second Circuit were to grant a petition for interlocutory appeal, the Court m ay well be able to move forward on other fronts. There are, after all, other disputes pending, see, e.g., ECF Nos. 7095 (New GM's renewed motion for summary judgment against Plaintiffs), 7100 (New GM's motion to exclude the opinions of anot her of Plaintiffs' experts), and Plaintiffs bring claims under the laws of forty-seven other states and the District of Columbia. Additionally, further settlement negotiations can and should proceed in the shadow of any interlocutory appeal. Ind eed, in the Court's humble view, after five-plus years of litigation, hundreds of depositions, millions of documents exchanged in discovery, and untold trees felled and ink spilled by the parties and the Court, the parties should have enough dat a to agree on a settlement value for this litigation; the risks of delay and reversal are merely additional data to factor into the calculus. The parties should be prepared to address these issues - at least preliminarily - at the status conference on December 18, 2019. The Clerk of Court is directed to terminate ECF No. 7055. SO ORDERED. (Signed by Judge Jesse M. Furman on 12/12/19) (yv)
November 15, 2019 Opinion or Order Filing 377 ORDER, On November 14, 2019, the Potts Law Firm LLP ("Potts") filed a Motion for Declaratory Judgment on Assessments for State Filed and Unfiled Cases, along with a memorandum in support of that motion. See 14-MD-2543, ECF No. 7398. In li ght of the ongoing briefing with respect to a substantially similar motion filed by Bailey Cowan Heckaman PLLC ("BCH") on November 5, 2019, see 14-MD-2543, ECF No. 7368, the Court concludes that consolidated briefing would make sense. Accor dingly, Lead Counsel shall file, no later than November 19, 2019, any opposition to both Potts's motion and BCH's motion, supported by a single memorandum of law not to exceed twenty-five pages, and Potts and BCH shall jointly file, no late r than November 26, 2019, any reply in a single memorandum of law not to exceed fifteen pages. The Clerk of Court is directed to terminate ECF No. 7397 as duplicative. SO ORDERED. (Responses due by 11/19/2019, Replies due by 11/26/2019.) (Signed by Judge Jesse M. Furman on 11/15/2019) (kv)
November 8, 2019 Opinion or Order Filing 376 MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER: re: (7204 in 1:14-md-02543-JMF) MOTION for Declaratory Judgment On Assessments For State Filed and Unfiled Cases filed by ALL PLAINTIFFS. For the foregoing reasons, the Court holds that Order No. 42 applies to all settle ments resolving claims asserted by L&E's clients that were part of the master settlement agreements submitted to this Court, without regard for whether those claims were pending in state court or no court at all. Accordingly, L&E's motion f or a declaratory judgment is DENIED. That said, the dispute between L&E and Lead Counsel and the new motion filed by BCH, see supra note 2, raise the question of whether Order No. 42 should be clarified or otherwise modified (for example, to expand i ts application, if appropriate, to the full extent of the Court's jurisdiction and authority to impose common benefit fund assessments). The Court did not need to resolve the disagreements between L&E and Lead Counsel over the interpretation and scope of Order No. 42 only because L&E's clients invoked the Court's jurisdiction by voluntarily submitting their settlements to the Court. In the next dispute (perhaps BCH's), the Court may have to confront those issues - and, in any event, counsel and parties negotiating settlements should understand whether those settlements will be subjected to a common benefit fund assessment under Order No. 42. Counsel - including L&E and BCH - should confer and, within two weeks of this Me morandum Opinion and Order, submit a joint letter to the Court with respect to whether Order No. 42 should be clarified or modified and, in the event of disagreement, proposing a procedure to resolve the issue. The Clerk of Court is directed to terminate ECF No. 7204. SO ORDERED. (Signed by Judge Jesse M. Furman on 11/08/2019) (ama)
August 6, 2019 Opinion or Order Filing 365 OPINION AND ORDER: In the final analysis, the Court's task here is not to decide what makes sense as a matter of policy. Cf. MyFord Touch, 291 F. Supp. 3d at 971 (citing "policy reasons to afford Plaintiffs a reasonable opportunity to p osit damages based on a more flexible approach to economic theory"). Nor is it even to evaluate whether Boedeker's analysis passes muster as a matter of economic theory. Instead, it is to apply the substantive law of each Bellwether S tate. As discussed, that law requires that benefit-of-the-bargain damages be calculated based on the difference in market value between the product as warranted and the product as sold and defines market value as the product of both a consumer& #039;s willingness to pay and a merchants willingness to sell, when neither are under any compulsion to do so. Applying that law, the Court is compelled to conclude that Boedeker's analysis does not, without more, suffice to prove that any of the Bellwether State Plaintiffs suffered benefit-of-the-bargain damages based on a difference in value. Because there is no more that is, Plaintiffs point to no other evidence from which a factfinder could find damages based on a difference in value there is an "absence of evidence" on an "essential element" of Plaintiffs' claims for such damages. Goenaga, 51 F.3d at 18. Accordingly, the Court must grant New GMs motion for summary judgment on the named Plaintiff s' claims to the extent they seek damages measured as the difference in value between their cars as bargained-for and their cars as received. In their various motion papers, the parties have briefed many other issues, including but not limit ed to the viability of various claims and/or other damages theories (such as Plaintiffs' bankruptcy-fraud claims, their claims for "lost time" damages' the claims of Plaintiffs who purchased Old GM or used vehicles, the claims o f Plaintiffs who disposed of their vehicles before the recalls, and the claims of Plaintiffs whose vehicles are subject to "service parts" vehicle recalls), the effectiveness of New GMs recalls and repairs, the availability of injunctive relief, class certification, and the admissibility of certain experts' testimony. In light of the ruling above, however, the Court will refrain from reaching such issues pending discussion between and with the parties and, possibly, new bri efing. It does so because the ruling almost certainly moots some of the remaining issues and, with respect to the issues that are not mooted (for example, class certification), the ruling changes the landscape in dramatic ways that may call for ne w briefing. On top of that, and given that changed landscape, it may well make sense for the parties to revisit the issue of settlement. And, of course, Plaintiffs may petition for certification of an interlocutory appeal. In short, even though th e parties have spilled considerable ink briefing other issues, the Court concludes, as a matter of efficient case management, that it makes more sense to stop where it has than to go on.The parties should immediately meet and confer with respect to the implications of this Opinion and Order and be prepared to address the next steps for both this litigation and the pending motion to withdraw the bankruptcy reference in 19-CV-1852 (JMF) or, at a minimum, a process for determining the next ste ps at the status conference on August 15, 2019.18 The Clerk of Court is directed to docket this Opinion and Order in 14-MD-2543, 14-MC-2543, and 19-CV-1852, and to terminate 14-MD-2543, ECF Nos. 5845, 5854, 5858, 6062, 6065, 6067, 6069,6108, 6110, 6114, 6116, and 6118. SO ORDERED. (Signed by Judge Jesse M. Furman on 8/6/2019) (jca)
September 12, 2018 Opinion or Order Filing 351 OPINION AND ORDER: In short, for all jurisdictions in dispute, the Court finds that manifestation is not required to bring statutory consumer protection, common-law fraud, and implied warranty claims. Second, for all but six of the jurisdictions in dispute, the Court finds that Plaintiffs may recover lost-time damages where "lost time" is understood as lost earnings or its equivalent, but not where "lost time" is understood as "lost personal time." In Colorado, New York, Ohio, Utah, Virginia, however, Plaintiffs may also recover lost personal time under the states' consumer protection statutes, and in Oklahoma, Plaintiffs may recover lost personal time for all claims. Finally, in every one of the ten stil l-disputed jurisdictions other than Connecticut, a plaintiff may plead unjust enrichment in the alternative only where the validity or enforceability of a contract is in question, and in seven out of the ten jurisdictions (all but Connecticut, New Ha mpshire, and Rhode Island), a plaintiff may not maintain an unjust enrichment claim if he or she has an adequate remedy at law. Attached as Exhibit A is a chart summarizing the Court's conclusions of law for all jurisdictions. The parties are di rected to meet and confer and, within thirty days of the date of this Opinion and Order, shall jointly submit a stipulation and proposed order applying the Court's conclusions to the Plaintiffs and claims in the 5ACC. SO ORDERED. (Signed by Judge Jesse M. Furman on 9/12/2018) (ne)
May 29, 2018 Opinion or Order Filing 345 OPINION AND ORDER [Regarding Certain Plaintiffs' and New GM's Bankruptcy Appeals]: The Court affirms the orders and judgments of the Bankruptcy Court in part and vacates and remands them in part. More specifically, the Court holds that: The Bankruptcy Court's conclusion that New GM judicially admitted liability for Pillars's claim by quoting from the Original Sale Agreement in its notice of removal and answer is VACATED, (15-CV-8432), and its determination that only plaintiff s with the Ignition Switch Defect in a Subject Vehicle are Ignition Switch Plaintiffs is AFFIRMED, (17-CV-6196); The Bankruptcy Court's holding that the Fraudulent Concealment Claims, as defined above, are not Independent Claims and therefore ca nnot pass through the bankruptcy gate is VACATED, (16-CV-0098, 16-CV-0501, and 16-CV-0512); The Bankruptcy Court's decision that plaintiffs without the Ignition Switch Defect are not barred by the November 2015 Imputation Decision and December 2 015 Judgment from pursuing Independent Claims against New GM and that the Pitterman Plaintiffs properly asserted Independent Claims against New GM is AFFIRMED, (17-CV-6120); The Bankruptcy Court's conclusions that it is law of the case that New GM did not contractually assume liability for punitive damages claims based on Old GM conduct and that punitive damages against New GM based on Old GM conduct are not available as a matter of federal bankruptcy law are AFFIRMED, (17-CV-6083, 17-CV-60 88, and 17-CV-8294); The Bankruptcy Court's determination that used car purchasers without the Ignition Switch Defect are bound by the Sale Order to the same extent as their predecessors in interest and may not bring claims against New GM based on Old GM conduct is VACATED, (17-CV-6083, 17-CV-6088, 17-CV-6284, and 17-CV-6289); and The Bankruptcy Court's holding that Reichwaldt is barred by res judicata and law of the case from seeking punitive damages against New GM based on Old GM con duct is AFFIRMED, (17-CV-8294). The parties to the MDL proceedings should be prepared to address the implications of these holdings on the MDL at the status conference on May 31, 2018 or, to the extent that the parties need more time to digest the ho ldings, should be prepared, at a minimum, to discuss the means and schedule for addressing the implications of the Court's holdings. The Clerk of Court is directed to docket this Opinion and Order in each case referenced in the caption as well a s (given the significance of this ruling to the MDL generally) in 14-MD-2543 and 14-MC-2543. Additionally, the Clerk of Court is directed close the following cases: 15-CV-8432, 17-CV-6120, 17-CV-6083, 17-CV-6088, 17-CV-6284, 17-CV-6196, 17-CV-6289, 16-CV-0098, 16-CV-0501, 16-CV-0512, and 17-CV-8294. (Signed by Judge Jesse M. Furman on 5/29/2018) (ras)
April 25, 2018 Opinion or Order Filing 339 MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER [Regarding New GM's Motion for Partial Reconsideration of the Court's December 19, 2017 Order and Opinion on Successor Liability] re: (4936 in 1:14-md-02543-JMF) MOTION for Reconsideration re; (4888) Memorandum & Opinion filed by General Motors LLC. The Court concludes that Plaintiffs cannot demonstrate continuity of ownership within the meaning of New York law, and thus cannot advance successor liability claims in any state where New York law applies. It f ollows that New GM's motion for partial reconsideration must be and is GRANTED and that the successor liability claims of Plaintiffs from Texas and Virginia must be and are DISMISSED. See Dec. 19, 2017 Op., 2017 WL 6509256, at *7 (holding that T exas and Virginia apply New York Law); Aug. 3, 2017 Op., 2017 WL 3382071, at *19 (same). The Clerk of Court is directed to terminate Docket No. 4936. SO ORDERED. (Signed by Judge Jesse M. Furman on 4/25/2018)**Pursuant to instructions from Chambers, Filed In All Member Cases: 1:14-md-02543-JMF et al.(anc)
April 3, 2018 Opinion or Order Filing 332 MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER: re: (4679 in 1:14-md-02543-JMF) MOTION for Summary Judgment Against Plaintiffs' Claims for Benefit-of-the-Bargain Damages filed by General Motors LLC. Accordingly, New GM's motion for summary judgment as to Pla intiffs' claims for benefit-of-the-bargain damages is DENIED without prejudice. Counsel should confer on whether and how the motion should be renewed and be prepared to address that question at a future status conference. The Clerk of Court is directed to terminate Docket No. 4679. And as set forth herein. SO ORDERED. (Signed by Judge Jesse M. Furman on 4/03/2018) (ama)
December 28, 2017 Opinion or Order Filing 310 OPINION AND ORDER [Regarding the Parties' Daubert Motions and New GM's Motions for Summary Judgment in the Bellwether Phase Two, Category B Cases] re: (462 in 1:14-cv-05810-JMF, 3772 in 1:14-md-02543-JMF, 137 in 1:15-cv-01626-JMF) MOTION Ex clude New GM's Experts, filed by Ruby L Greenroad, Vivian Garza, Clarissa Rios, (3711 in 1:14-md-02543-JMF, 131 in 1:15-cv-01626-JMF) LETTER MOTION for Oral Argument, filed by General Motors LLC, (128 in 1:15-cv-01626-JMF, 3708 in 1:14-md-02543- JMF, 451 in 1:14-cv-05810-JMF) MOTION To Exclude Expert Opinions Under Daubert and Federal Rule of Evidence 702 and for Summary Judgment on the Issue of Ignition Switch Rotation in Airbag Deployment Cases, filed by General Motors LLC. By prior Order, the Court directed the parties to address the next steps for personal injury and wrongful death cases in the MDL in letters due by January 3, 2018, or one week from the filing of this Opinion and Order. (Docket No. 4831). Upon reflection, the partie s are granted until January 4, 2018, at 5 p.m. to file those letters. Plaintiffs' motion for oral argument and Daubert motion are denied as moot. The Clerk of Court is directed (1) to terminate 14-MD-2543, Docket Nos. 3708, 3711, and 3772; and 1 4-CV-5810, Docket No. 462; (2) to terminate Vivian Garza as a party in Abney et al. v. General Motors, No. 14-CV-5810; and (3) to close Greenroad v. General Motors, No. 15-CV-1626. (Signed by Judge Jesse M. Furman on 12/28/2017) (***Motions terminated pursuant to instructions from chambers on 12/28/2017.) (ras)
December 19, 2017 Opinion or Order Filing 308 OPINION AND ORDER [Regarding New GM's Motion for Partial Summary Judgment on Successor Liability] re: (3519 in case 14-md-2543) MOTION for Summary Judgment on Successor Liability. New GM's motion for summary judgment is GRANTED with respect to Plaintiffs' successor liability claims under Maryland law, but DENIED with respect to Plaintiffs' claims under the other laws of the other eight jurisdictions still at issue. Per Docket No. 4831, the parties shall submit letters regardi ng the next steps for personal injury cases in the MDL, addressing the implications of this Opinion and Order among other things, by the earlier of (1) one week after the Court's ruling on the pending motions in the Phase Two, Category B cases; or (2) January 3, 2018, and as further set forth herein. (Signed by Judge Jesse M. Furman on 12/19/2017) (ras)
November 15, 2017 Opinion or Order Filing 302 MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER [Regarding Plaintiffs' Motion for Leave to Amend the Fourth Amended Consolidated Complaint and New GM's Partial Cross-Motion to Dismiss and/or Strike Plaintiffs' Proposed Fifth Amended Consolidated Complain t] re: (4522 in 1:14-md-02543-JMF) MOTION to Amend/Correct (3356) Amended Complaint, Plaintiffs' Motion for Leave to Amend the Fourth Amended Consolidated Class Action Complaint, filed by GM Ignition Switch MDL Plaintiffs, (4704 in 1:14-md-02543 -JMF) MOTION to Dismiss and/or Strike Plaintiff's Proposed Fifth Amended Consolidated Complaint, filed by General Motors LLC. Upon review of the parties' submissions (Docket Nos. 4522, 4680, 4704, 4767, 4775), the Court grants Plaintiffs� 39; motion for leave to amend. The Court declines to consider the second argument because the Bankruptcy Court's ruling is the subject of pending appeals to this Court. There is little point in addressing the argument until the appeals are resol ved. For the foregoing reasons, the Court GRANTS Plaintiffs' motion for leave to amend the FACC and DENIES New GM's motion to dismiss and/or strike, except to the extent that it concerns claims that the Court previously dismissed and claims on behalf of new Plaintiffs that the Court previously found unviable for similarly situated Plaintiffs. The Clerk of Court is directed to terminate Docket Nos. 4522 and 4704, and as further set forth herein. (Signed by Judge Jesse M. Furman on 11/15/2017) (ras)
August 9, 2017 Opinion or Order Filing 287 MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER [Regarding Plaintiffs' Motion for Reconsideration and/or Clarification of the Court's Order Dismissing the Claims of "Pre-Recall Plaintiffs"]: re: (4256 in 1:14-md-02543-JMF) MOTION for Reconsideration re; (4175) Memorandum & Opinion, Plaintiffs' Motion for Reconsideration and/or Clarification of Court's Order Dismissing Certain Damages Claims of Plaintiffs Who Purchased After the Sale Order filed by GM Ignition Switch MDL Plaintiffs. Pl aintiffs' motion for reconsideration is GRANTED, and the Court's prior Opinion and Order is modified as reflected here. The Clerk of Court is directed to terminate Docket No. 4256, and as further set forth in this order. (Signed by Judge Jesse M. Furman on 8/9/2017) (ras)
August 3, 2017 Opinion or Order Filing 284 OPINION AND ORDER [Regarding New GM's Partial Motion for Summary Judgment on Plaintiffs' Successor Liability Claims in the Fourth Amended Consolidated Complaint]: re: (3519 in 1:14-md-02543-JMF) MOTION for Summary Judgment on Successor Liab ility, filed by General Motors LLC. The Court grants New GM's motion for summary judgment with respect to Plaintiffs' successor liability claims in part and reserves judgment on the remainder of the motion. Specifically, the Court holds tha t: Plaintiffs' claims are not barred by the Second Circuit's decision in Tronox because, by virtue of the due process violation, Plaintiffs did not know about, and could not bring, the claims at the time of the bankruptcy; Each jurisdiction 's choice-of-law rules must be applied to determine the substantive law that governs the merits of Plaintiffs' successor liability claims in that jurisdiction; Based on a jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction analysis, Delaware law applies to Plaint iffs' successor liability claims in seven jurisdictions considered here: California, the District of Columbia, Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York, and Wisconsin. The applicable law to be applied in the other nine jurisdictions is as fol lows: (See document); Under Delaware law, Plaintiffs' successor liability claims fail as a matter of law, requiring dismissal of those claims in seven of the sixteen states; and Additional briefing is warranted on the merits of Plaintiffs' claims in the other nine jurisdictions due to, among other things, the potential settlement between Plaintiffs and the GUC Trust. Accordingly, the successor liability claims of Plaintiffs from California, the District of Columbia, Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York, and Wisconsin are dismissed, and the Court reserves judgment on the successor liability claims of Plaintiffs from Alabama, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia. With respect to those nine jurisdictions, the parties shall, no later than August 24, 2017, file supplemental memoranda of law, not to exceed twenty-five pages in length, addressing the merits (including any effect of the settlement negotiations or potential settlem ent between Plaintiffs and the GUC Trust, as to which the parties should submit supporting declarations as appropriate). The Clerk of Court is directed to terminate Docket No. 3519, and as further set forth in this order. (Signed by Judge Jesse M. Furman on 8/3/2017) (ras)
June 30, 2017 Opinion or Order Filing 277 OPINION AND ORDER [Regarding New GM's Partial Motion To Dismiss the Fourth Amended Consolidated Class Action Complaint] re: (3577 in 1:14-md-02543-JMF) MOTION to Dismiss Claims of Certain Plaintiffs in the Fourth Amended Consolidated Complaint, filed by General Motors LLC. For the reasons stated below, New GM's motion to dismiss is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part. More specifically, it is GRANTED with respect to Plaintiffs' repleaded "brand devaluation" claims, but DE NIED with respect to Plaintiff's lost-time-to repair claims. Additionally, it is GRANTED with respect to Plaintiffs who purchased their vehicles prior to New GM's inception or disposed of their vehicles prior to the recall announcement. And finally, New GM's motion to dismiss Plaintiffs' claims in Alabama, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part, depending on, among other things, whether each state& #039;s law allows claims in the absence of a manifested defect, requires a special trust relationship between the parties for a duty to disclose to arise, and permits plaintiffs to plead both contract claims and unjust enrichment claims. Ultimately, for the reasons that follow, most of Plaintiffs' consumer fraud, fraudulent concealment, and breach of implied warranty claims survive, while the bulk of Plaintiffs' unjust enrichment claims must be and are dismissed. As the Court indicated in the last round of motion practice, although this ruling addresses only some of the claims in the operative complaint, it should inform the parties with respect to the viability of other claims and, more generally, bear upon the further progress o f the MDL. Pursuant to Order No. 114 (Docket No. 3431), no later than three weeks from the date of this Opinion and Order, the parties shall meet and confer and advise the Court of their views with respect to whether and how the Court's rulings apply to the thirty-five jurisdictions that have not been the subject of full briefing (the Court's sincere hope being that it will not have to repeat this exercise with respect to each and every one of the remaining jurisdictions). Any submissi ons should address a briefing schedule and process if either side believes that briefing or motion practice is appropriate. Further, to the extent the parties find it helpful, they should confer and submit a chart (or proposed order) summarizing the rulings in this Opinion and Order with respect to the named Plaintiffs' claims, to be so ordered by the Court. In those submissions, Plaintiffs should also indicate to the Court whether they intend to amend the FACC (as to any of the claims that were dismissed with leave to amend) and, if so, provide an outline of the proposed amendments and a proposed schedule. The Clerk of Court is directed to terminate Docket No. 3577, and as further set forth in this order. (Signed by Judge Jesse M. Furman on 6/30/2017) (ras)
August 24, 2016 Opinion or Order Filing 231 MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER [Regarding the Collateral Estoppel Effect of the Second Circuit's Opinion in In re Motors Liquidation Co.]: Upon review of the parties' submissions (see Pl.'s Mem. Law Regarding Application of Collateral Es toppel (Docket No. 3214) ("Pl.'s Mem."); Def. Gen. Motors LLC's Mem. Law Regarding Collateral Estoppel (Docket No. 3216, Ex. 1) ("New GM's Mem.")); Pl.'s Reply Supp. Mem. Law Regarding Application Collateral Es toppel (Docket No. 3250) ("Pl.'s Reply"); New GM's Reply Brief Regarding Collateral Estoppel (Docket No. 3251), Cockram's request is DENIED. Cockram's argument that the Court should give collateral estoppel effect to the Second Circuit's decision in In re Motors Liquidation Co. (or to the Bankruptcy Court's own factual findings) is rejected as either unripe or without merit. (Signed by Judge Jesse M. Furman on 8/24/2016) (tn)
August 18, 2016 Opinion or Order Filing 229 OPINION AND ORDER re: (2966 in 1:14-md-02543-JMF, 429 in 1:14-cv-08176-JMF) MOTION in Limine No. 26 to Exclude Testimony from Mary Cockram and Danny Cockram Regarding the Post-Accident Position of the Ignition Switch, filed by Genera l Motors LLC, (444 in 1:14-cv-08176-JMF, 2983 in 1:14-md-02543-JMF) MOTION in Limine No. 28 to Exclude Evidence and Argument Relating to Plaintiff's Claim And/Or Plaintiff's Communications with the GM Ignition Compensation Claims Re solution Facility, filed by General Motors LLC, (2987 in 1:14-md-02543-JMF, 448 in 1:14-cv-08176-JMF) MOTION in Limine No. 8 to Exclude Certain Evidence and/or Argument Regarding New GMs Ignition Compensation Claims Resolution Facility< /i>, filed by Stephanie Cockram, (2962 in 1:14-md-02543-JMF, 425 in 1:14-cv-08176-JMF) MOTION in Limine No. 3 to Exclude Evidence of Post-Accident Drug Testing, Termination, and Rehabilitation, filed by Stephanie Cockram, (434 in 1:14-c v-08176-JMF, 2973 in 1:14-md-02543-JMF) MOTION in Limine No. 5 to Exclude from Trial Evidence of Marijuana and Tobacco Use and Smoking While Pregnant, filed by Stephanie Cockram, (439 in 1:14-cv-08176-JMF, 2978 in 1:14-md-02543-JMF) M OTION in Limine No. 6 to Exclude Evidence and/or Argument Regarding Certain of Plaintiff's Employment Records, filed by Stephanie Cockram, (2961 in 1:14-md-02543-JMF, 424 in 1:14-cv-08176-JMF) MOTION in Limine No. 25 to Exclude Evidence Relating to Improper Lay Opinions and Speculative Testimony by EMT Lester Harrell, Trooper James Cline, and Sergeant Jonathan Clark, filed by General Motors LLC, (2975 in 1:14-md-02543-JMF, 436 in 1:14-cv-08176-JMF) MOTION in Lim ine No. 27 to Exclude Evidence Relating to Recall Repairs, the Sufficiency of the Recall Notice, and the Availability of Repair Parts and Loaner Vehicles, filed by General Motors LLC, (2982 in 1:14-md-02543-JMF, 443 in 1:14-cv-08176-JMF) MOTION in Limine No. 7 to Exclude Evidence and/or Argument Regarding Her School Records and Learning Disabilities, filed by Stephanie Cockram. For the foregoing reasons, New GM's twenty-seventh and twenty-eighth motions in limine and Cockram's third and sixth motions in limine are granted; New GM's twenty-fifth and twenty-sixth motions in limine and Cockram's fifth motion in limine are granted in part and denied in part; Cockram's seventh motion in limin e is granted in part and deferred in part; and Cockram's eighth motion in limine is denied. More specifically, the Court holds as follows: New GM's twenty-fifth motion in limine is granted with respect to the lay opinions of Harrel, C line, and Clark concerning airbag non-deployment, but denied with respect to Harrell's seatbelt-related testimony; New GM's twenty-sixth in limine is granted as unopposed with respect to Mrs. Cockram, but denied with respect to Mr. Cock ram, who may offer testimony regarding the position of the ignition switch; New GM's twenty-seventh motion in limine is granted as unopposed; New GM's twenty-eighth motion in limine is granted and Cockram's eighth motion in limi ne is denied. More specifically, New GM may introduce evidence of the Feinberg Program, but Cockram may not introduce evidence regarding her particular claim or settlement offer. In addition, the parties are directed to meet and confer and, if nec essary, submit simultaneous letter briefs no later than August 29, 2016, and not to exceed five pages on the issue of appropriate remedies, including the issue of bifurcation; Cockram's third motion in limine (concerning her drug use) is granted, while her fifth motion in limine (concerning her tobacco use) is granted in part and denied in part, subject to Cockram's objections at trial; Cockram's sixth motion in limine is granted, subject to the right of New GM t o seek reconsideration of the Court's ruling with respect to Cockram's pre-accident absences in the unlikely event that Cockram somehow opens the door to such evidence; and Cockram's seventh motion in limine is granted to t he extent that she seeks to preclude admission of her college transcripts and 2002 vocational report, and otherwise deferred to trial. The Clerk of Court is directed to terminate 14-MD-2543, Docket Nos. 2961, 2962, 2966, 2973, 2975, 2978, 2982, 2983, and 2987; and 14-CV-8176, Docket Nos. 424, 425, 429, 434, 436, 439, 443, 444, and 448. (As further set forth in this Opinion) (Signed by Judge Jesse M. Furman on 8/18/2016) (kl)
August 15, 2016 Opinion or Order Filing 228 OPINION AND ORDER re: (412 in 1:14-cv-08176-JMF) MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by General Motors, L.L.C., (2938 in 1:14-md-02543-JMF) MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by General Motors LLC: For the reasons stated above, New GM's motion for summary judgment is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part. Specifically, although Cockram's failure-to-recall claim and constructive fraud claim are dismissed, her other Independent Claims survive. As a result, Cockram may seek punitive damages in this case. The Clerk of Court is directed to terminate 14-MD-2543, Docket No. 2938; and 14-CV-8176, Docket No. 412. (Signed by Judge Jesse M. Furman on 8/15/2016) (tn)
July 22, 2016 Opinion or Order Filing 222 MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER re: (388 in 1:14-cv-08176-JMF, 2874 in 1:14-md-02543-JMF) MOTION in Limine No. 1 to Exclude Evidence and/or Argument Regarding Collateral Source Benefits. filed by Stephanie Cockram, (390 in 1:14-cv-08176-JMF) MOTION in L imine No. 2 to Exclude Evidence Regarding Alleged Nonuse of Seatbelt. filed by Stephanie Cockram, (2886 in 1:14-md-02543-JMF) MOTION in Limine No. 2 to Exclude Evidence Regarding Alleged Nonuse of Seatbelt. filed by Stephanie Cockram: For the foregoi ng reasons, Plaintiffs' Motions in Limine Nos. 1 and 2 are both GRANTED in part and DENIED in part. Specifically, Plaintiff may move to exclude collateral source evidence should New GM seek to introduce it at trial for purposes of impeachment or rebuttal, but New GM may not introduce collateral source evidence for any other purpose; and New GM may introduce evidence of alleged seatbelt non-use for a relevant purpose - on issues such as negligent design and manufacture, product misuse, and w hether the seatbelt pretensioners should have deployed - but not to show Plaintiff's negligence, to mitigate damages, or to show that Plaintiff's injuries would otherwise have been less severe. The Clerk of Court is directed to terminate 14-MD-2543, Docket Nos. 2874 and 2886, and 14-CV-8176, Docket Nos. 388 and 390. (Signed by Judge Jesse M. Furman on 7/21/2016) (tn)
April 12, 2016 Opinion or Order Filing 202 OPINION AND ORDER re: [2258 in 14-md-2543] MOTION for Protective Order . filed by Bob Hilliard and Thomas J. Henry. For the reasons explained herein, that motion is denied.Multi-district litigation of this sort is a complex affair. With so much at stake in terms of money, ego, and otherwise it is hardly surprising that conflicts would erupt among counsel, even counsel who are ostensibly on the same "side" and share a common adversary. Nevertheless, the Court find s it regrettable that Cooper levied his broadsides against Lead Counsel in the way he did, rather than taking steps in a more measured and productive (not to mention timely) manner to address or raise any problems that he perceived. In other words , assuming there is any merit to his allegations, he did himself and, by extension, the plaintiffs in the MDL a disservice by waiting to raise them until after the (admittedly embarrassing) collapse of the Plaintiff's case in the Scheuer tr ial and then raising them in the way he did. Through its bottom-line Order and this more detailed Opinion, the Court hopes that any clouds of uncertainty hovering over the status of Lead Counsel, the bellwether trial schedule, and the pending set tlement have been lifted, thereby promoting the orderly management of the MDL and additional settlements. The Court also hopes that plaintiffs' counsel will stop litigating their grievances with one another and return to focusing on their com mon adversary, New GM, and on obtaining relief for their respective clients. That is, the Court hopes that counsel and their clients can return to focusing on what is truly at stake in this litigation: determining whether and to what extent the plaintiffs in these proceedings are entitled to relief for injuries caused by the acknowledged ignition switch defect in millions of General Motors cars. The Clerk of Court is directed to terminate Docket No. 2258. (As further set forth in this Order.) (Order to be docketed only in listed cases as per Chambers.) (Signed by Judge Jesse M. Furman on 4/12/2016) (kgo)
April 1, 2016 Opinion or Order Filing 199 MEMORANDUM OPINION re: (367 in 1:14-cv-05810-JMF) MOTION for Judgment as a Matter of Law Under FRCP 50(a) filed by General Motors LLC: that the Court concluded that no reasonable jury could find for Spain on her fraudulent misrepresentation claim and New GM's motion for judgment as a matter of law on that claim was GRANTED. (Signed by Judge Jesse M. Furman on 4/1/2016) (tn)
December 30, 2015 Opinion or Order Filing 185 OPINION AND ORDER re: (1810 in 1:14-md-02543-JMF) MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by General Motors LLC, (1799 in 1:14-md-02543-JMF, 223 in 1:14-cv-08176-JMF) AMENDED MOTION in Limine No. 7 to Exclude All Evidence and Argument Relating to Punitive Damages filed by General Motors LLC: For the reasons stated above, New GM's motion for summary judgment is GRANTED (as uncontested) with respect to Plaintiff's breach-of-implied-warranty claim, but is otherwise DENIED. Moreover, because the re is sufficient evidence to support several Independent Claims with respect to which Plaintiff seeks punitive damages, New GM's Amended Seventh Motion in Limine (which asks the Court to exclude all evidence and argument related to punitive damages) must also be DENIED. (See Docket No. 1800). The Clerk of Court is directed to terminate 14-MD-2543, Docket Nos. 1799 and 1810; and 14-CV-8176, Docket No. 223. (Signed by Judge Jesse M. Furman on 12/30/2015) (tn)
November 25, 2015 Opinion or Order Filing 173 OPINION AND ORDER re: (1135 in 1:14-md-02543-JMF) MOTION to Compel General Motors, LLC to Produce Documents From New GM and King & Spalding, LLC Based on the Crime Fraud Exception UNREDACTED filed by GM Ignition Switch MDL Plaintiffs, (1031 in 1:14-m d-02543-JMF) MOTION to Compel General Motors, LLC to Compel General Motors to PRODUCE DOCUMENTS FROM NEW GM AND KING & SPALDING LLC BASED ON THE CRIME-FRAUD EXCEPTION filed by GM Ignition Switch MDL Plaintiffs: The issue presented by this motion is n ot whether there is probable cause to believe that New GM committed a crime or fraud by concealing the ignition switch defect from its regulators and the general public. The recent criminal charges filed against New GM indicate there is probable caus e to so believe, and Plaintiffs in this MDL may ultimately be able to prove that New GM committed egregious acts for which it should be held to account (and that settling the Chansuthus, Sullivan, and Melton matters facilitated them). Instead, the is sue presented by this motion is whether, under the well-established principles that govern application of the crime-fraud exception to the attorney-client privilege and attorney work product doctrine, Plaintiffs have shown that the communications and materials they seek were made with the intent to further a crime or fraud, thereby warranting their disclosure. For the reasons stated above, the Court concludes that, however troubling some of New GM's conduct may have been, Plaintiffs have fa iled to make that showing. Further, mindful of the fact that Plaintiffs were already provided access to a substantial cache of documents that would otherwise have been subject to the attorney-client privilege, the Court concludes that there is no bas is even to review the materials at issue (or a subset of those materials) in camera. Put simply, if there were "a factual basis" to conclude that New GM and K&S were communicating or working in furtherance of a crime or fraud, one would exp ect to see some evidence in those communications - which K&S and New GM had no reason to believe would see the light of day when they were made - that they were made with such an intent. Zolin, 491 U.S. at 572. Because Plaintiffs point to no such evi dence, the Court concludes that Plaintiffs' motion to compel must be DENIED. The parties submitted portions of their briefs in redacted form (some of which has since been unredacted) and certain exhibits under seal because New GM had designated the information as "highly confidential." (See, e.g., Docket Nos. 1156, 1255; see also Docket Nos. 1101, 1116). In this Opinion and Order, the Court has quoted from those materials; out of an abundance of caution, the Court has redacted tho se portions from the version filed publicly. As the Court has repeatedly noted, however, the mere fact that information is subject to a confidentiality agreement between litigants is not a valid basis to overcome the presumption in favor of public ac cess to judicial documents. See, e.g., Dandong v. Pinnacle Performance Ltd., No. 10-CV-8086 (JMF), 2012 WL 6217646, at *2 (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 3, 2012) ("The consent of the parties is not a valid basis to justify sealing, as the rights involved are th e rights of the public." (internal quotation marks omitted)); Vasquez v. City of N. Y., No. 10-CV-6277 (LBS), 2012 WL 4377774, at *3 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 24, 2012) (similar). Accordingly, and in accordance with the procedures set out in Section X of MDL Order No. 77 (Docket No. 1349), any party who believes the materials should remain under seal or in redacted form (including, but not limited to, the portions of this Opinion and Order than have been redacted) shall file a letter brief within sev en days regarding the propriety of doing so. See, e.g., Lugosch v. Pyramid Co. of Onondaga, 435 F.3d 110, 119-20 (2d Cir. 2006) (discussing the presumption in favor of public access). The Clerk of Court is directed to terminate Docket Nos. 1031 and 1135. (Signed by Judge Jesse M. Furman on 11/25/2015) (tn)
November 23, 2015 Opinion or Order Filing 171 MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER re: (148 in 1:14-cv-08176-JMF) FIRST MOTION in Limine TO EXCLUDE EVIDENCE AND/OR ARGUMENT REGARDING COLLATERAL SOURCE BENEFITS filed by Robert Scheuer, (1525 in 1:14-md-02543-JMF) FIRST MOTION in Limine TO EXCLUDE EVID ENCE AND/OR ARGUMENT REGARDING COLLATERAL SOURCE BENEFITS filed by Robert Scheuer, (1565 in 1:14-md-02543-JMF) MOTION in Limine TO EXCLUDE EVIDENCE AND/OR ARGUMENT REGARDING PLAINITFFS PRIOR UNRELATED INJURIES AND FAMILYS MEDICAL HISTORY filed by GM Ignition Switch MDL Plaintiffs, (1573 in 1:14-md-02543-JMF) THIRD MOTION in Limine to Exclude Evidence Concerning the Amounts Billed for Expenses Incurred, But Not Actually Paid, for Plaintiff's Medical Treatment filed by General Motors LL C: For the reasons stated above, Plaintiff's Motion No. 1 is GRANTED with respect to evidence of damages, but DENIED to the extent that New GM may later seek (with advance notice to Plaintiff and the Court) to introduce evidence of collateral benefits for impeachment or rebuttal; and Plaintiff's Motion No. 2 is GRANTED as unopposed with respect to family medical history, but DENIED with respect to evidence of prior injuries offered on issues of lost earning capacity, loss of enj oyment, or causation for any alleged shoulder injury. New GM's Motion No. 3 is unopposed and therefore GRANTED. The Clerk of Court is directed to terminate 14-MD-2543, Docket Nos. 1525, 1565, and 1573; and 14-CV-8176, Docket No. 148. (Signed by Judge Jesse M. Furman on 11/23/2015) (tn)
August 27, 2015 Opinion or Order Filing 155 OPINION AND ORDER: For the foregoing reasons, Plaintiff's motions to withdraw the reference are DENIED. The Clerk of Court is directed to close these cases (15-CV-4685 and 15-CV-5056). Further, insofar as this Opinion and Order relates to the MDL and some filings in connection with the instant motions were docketed in the MDL, the Clerk of Court is directed to file this Opinion and Order not only in the above-captioned cases, but also in 14-MD-2543 and 14-MC-2543. (Signed by Judge Jesse M. Furman on 8/27/2015) (tn)
August 11, 2015 Opinion or Order Filing 152 MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER: For the reasons stated above, New GM's request for an order limiting the scope of any deposition of Valukas is GRANTED, but the Court defers decision on whether to limit the length of the deposition. The Clerk of Court is directed to terminate 1199. (As further set forth in this Order) (Signed by Judge Jesse M. Furman on 8/11/2015) (kl)
July 24, 2015 Opinion or Order Filing 147 OPINION & ORDER re: (1058 in 1:14-md-02543-JMF) MOTION for Protective Order Regarding Pretrial Discovery Materials filed by General Motors LLC: The Second Circuit has cautioned that Rule 26 is "not a blanket authorization for the court to prohib it disclosure of information whenever it deems it advisable to do so, but is rather a grant of power to impose conditions on discovery in order to prevent injury, harassment, or abuse of the court's processes." Bridge C.A.T. Scan Assocs. v. Technicare Corp., 710 F.2d 940, 944-45 (2d Cir. 1983) (emphasis omitted). Here, for the reasons stated above, the Court concludes that the order proposed by New GM would go well beyond protecting those interests and that more narrowly tailored order s - limited to protecting the interests of third parties and adopting Rule 3.6 of the New York State Rules of Professional Conduct - would more appropriately balance the interests at stake, including the interests of third parties in avoiding injury, harassment, and invasions of privacy; the interests of the press and the public in the subject matter of this MDL; and the interests of the parties in fair proceedings and trials. Accordingly, New GM's motion is granted in part and denied in part. The Clerk of Court is directed to terminate 14-MD-2543 Docket No. 1058, and as further set forth in this order. (Signed by Judge Jesse M. Furman on 7/24/2015) (tn)
June 10, 2015 Opinion or Order Filing 125 OPINION AND ORDER: In complex, multidistrict litigation of this sort, courts must grapple with - indeed, juggle a host of challenges and considerations. Among the most important of those challenges and considerations is striking the right balance bet ween, on the one hand, protecting and preserving the rights and interests of individual litigants while, on the other hand, ensuring that such solicitude does not undermine the central purpose of MDL consolidation - namely, promoting "just and e fficient" resolution of the parties' disputes. 28 U.S.C. § 1407(a). In its effort to streamline the litigation, the Court's initial order addressing the effect of the Consolidated Complaints in this MDL - Order No. 29 - failed to grant appropriate weight to the former concern. For the reasons stated above, however, the Court concludes that Order No. 50 - a copy of which is attached for ease of reference does strike the right balance. As noted, Order No. 50 contemplates entry of additional orders touching on these issues. Through those orders and others, the Court will undoubtedly refine the balance between the individual and collective even further. For now, however, the Court finds that Order No. 50 appropriately protec ts the interests of all individual parties while ensuring that the Court is able to "expeditiously and thoroughly resolve" the common legal and factual issues that motivated the JPML to transfer these cases here. In re Asbestos Cases of Hatch, James & Dodge, G. Patterson Keahey, No. 06-CV-741 (TS), 2007 WL 582983, at *2 (D. Utah Feb. 20, 2007). (Signed by Judge Jesse M. Furman on 6/10/2015) (kl)
January 15, 2015 Opinion or Order Filing 86 OPINION AND ORDER: For the foregoing reasons, the Court agrees with New GM that the Interview Materials are protected by both the attorney-client privilege and the attorney work product doctrine. The Court acknowledges that that ruling deprives Plain tiffs of material that might be helpful in the preparation of their cases. In reality, however, it "puts [Plaintiffs] in no worse position than if the communications had never taken place," Upjohn, 449 U.S. at 395, as Plaintiffs themselves are free to question the witnesses who were interviewed by the Valukas team. Moreover, in the memorable words of Justice Robert Jackson, "[d]iscovery was hardly intended to enable a learned profession to perform its functions... on wits borrowed from the adversary." Hickman, 329 U.S. at 516 (Jackson, J., concurring). And, in the final analysis, the cost of withholding the materials is outweighed by the benefits to society of "encourag[ing] 'full and frank communication betwee n attorneys and their clients and thereby promot[ing] broader public interests in the observance of law and the administration of justice.'" Swidler & Berlin v. United States, 524 U.S. 399, 403 (1998) (quoting Upjohn, 449 U.S. at 389). Acco rdingly, and for the reasons explained above, Plaintiffs' application to compel disclosure of the Interview Materials and other items is DENIED, except that New GM is ordered to disclose, within two weeks, the names of all witnesses who were interviewed by Valukas and his colleagues but not mentioned by name in the Valukas Report itself. (Signed by Judge Jesse M. Furman on 1/15/2015) As per chambers, filed in all Member Cases: 1:14-md-02543-JMF et al., and 14mc2543. (tn)
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Defendant: GM Ignition Switch MDL Defendants
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Plaintiff: GM Ignition Switch MDL Plaintiffs
Represented By: Michael Dennis Donovan
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Plaintiff: Austin DePalma
Represented By: Michael Dennis Donovan
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Plaintiff: Jomaka Coleman
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