The Hill (6/3, Swanson) reports, "Consumer groups and trial lawyers are crying foul over the Obama administration's bankruptcy plans for General Motors and Chrysler" because "those plans would extinguish all ongoing auto accident claims that blame a death or serious injury on a defective GM or Chrysler vehicle." According to Clarence Dilow, executive director of the Center for Auto Safety, "the plans are unusual in that they would prevent anyone from bringing a future liability claim against GM or Chrysler if a car already purchased from either company is defective and results in an accident causing death or serious injury." Also, he added, "it was...unusual for no money to be set aside for liability claims."
On the Wheels blog on the New York Times website (6/3) Christopher Jensen writes, "In approving the sale of most of Chrysler's assets to a new company, run by Fiat, over the weekend, Judge Arthur J. Gonzalez also granted the automaker's request that the new company not be held liable for future product-liability problems involving current owners" which "means people who own a Chrysler, Dodge or Jeep have lost their right to sue if they are injured by a safety defect." He says that consumer groups are concerned that "people who already have been injured in accidents and have filed suits against Chrysler, asserting that a vehicle had a safety defect" will not get any money from the carmaker even if they "win in court."
ClickonDetroit (6/3) also covers the story and reports, "It's like slamming the courthouse door in the victim's face." Consumer groups want the "new Chrysler" to "at least create a victim's fund."
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