DESCUENTO LECTORES

GM Won’t Face Ignition Defect Lawsuits, Thanks To 2009 Bankruptcy


The same process that allowed a bankrupt General Motors to work its way back (with the help of several billion dollars from taxpayers) to being a viable business is, six years later, helping to shield the company from potentially billions of dollars in damages from class action fraud lawsuits involving the long-ignored ignition defect that claimed the lives of at least 84 people.

As we’ve mentioned before, as part of GM’s 2009 bankruptcy restructuring, the “New GM” that resulted was absolved of most of the liabilities of “Old GM.”


The particular question before the court was whether GM would have to answer ignition-related allegations of fraud, like the $10 billion class action for brand damage.


Central to this issue is the recall timeline. GM didn’t issue a recall for the affected vehicles until 2014, but the defective ignition switches — which could be turned off by the driver bumping a knee into the switch or from the weight of a heavy keychain — had been quietly redesigned before the bankruptcy restructuring. No cars made after the bankruptcy included the defective switches.


The plaintiffs in the lawsuits against GM contend that because some executives at the carmaker knew about the problem for years without issuing a recall, that an alleged cover-up continued into the New GM era.


GM disagreed, arguing that there was no cover-up and that the cars and defective parts were both sold by Old GM. The company maintains that as soon as senior management learned of the problem, the company began the recall process.


And today a federal bankruptcy court judge sided with the carmaker.


In a statement, GM said that the judge “properly concluded that claims based on Old GM’s conduct are barred.”


The court did allow that ignition-related lawsuits could be brought against New GM, but they would have be based solely on post-bankruptcy actions of the carmaker.


“This ruling padlocks the courthouse doors,” one of the attorneys suing GM said in a statement. “Hundreds of victims and their families will go to bed tonight forever deprived of justice. GM, bathing in billions may now turn its back on the dead and injured, worry free.”


Through its own victim compensation fund, GM is paying out an estimated $400 million to victims and their loved ones. As of the latest report from GM, the car company has acknowledged and made payment offers for 84 death and 157 serious injury claims. If a claimant accepts the payment offer from GM, they give up their right to pursue the company in court for the same incident.


[via CNN Money]

[via WSJ]




by Chris Morran via Consumerist

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Showrooming: todo lo que debes saber

Showrooming: todo lo que debes saber





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Sears Pension Fund Requires Cash Infusions From Sears

searsflagSears really didn’t need any more problems, financial or otherwise. Yet the company does have a problem that doesn’t involve its loss of $1.7 billion last year, run-down stores, fleeing customers, and alleged problems with suppliers? The company’s employee pension plan also isn’t doing very well, which has been another drain on the company’s finances.


Sears wouldn’t tell the Wall Street Journal exactly what it has invested its pension fund in that has led to such poor returns, but last year the fund posted a return of 1.5%. Those aren’t very good results during a year when a fund with middling performance earned about 7% last year.


The company has added $2.85 billion to the pension fund during the last decade. For a company like Sears, that isn’t a lot of money year to year, but it’s also $2 billion that they aren’t spending on things that could improve the company’s financial future.


Employees who have been at Sears or Kmart before 2006 are part of the pension plan, so it is still receiving contributions. (Sears and Kmart merged to form Sears Holdings Corporation in 2005.) A company spokesman explained to the WSJ that the company is still meeting its pension obligations. Better performance of its investments in future years may help the plan to keep making payments to retirees for as long as they live.


Poor Returns Weigh on Sears Pension Plan [Wall Street Journal]




by Laura Northrup via Consumerist

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Manual de Redes Sociales para Destinos Turísticos – Avanzado (Facebook y Twitter) #socialmedia #tourism

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Lottery Security Director Accused Of Winning The Lottery Fraudulently


Remember last fall, when lottery officials were trying to locate the mysterious man who bought the winning ticket in the multi-state Hot Lotto game? That situation was strange enough, with the winner or winners trying to remain anonymous and waiting a very long time to come forward. Now the situation has become even weirder, with the lottery’s former security director accused of winning the game fraudulently.

As the security director for the Multi-State Lottery Association, which runs the Hot Lotto, Eddie Raymond Tipton wasn’t supposed to be playing the lottery at all. That’s why the man in the video was wearing a hat and hood to conceal his identity but still not look out of place during a Midwestern winter. Prosecutors believe that Tipton was the person who bought the ticket, but a man from Texas has also been arrested and charged with fraud.


That would also explain why the man tried to win without revealing his identity, but how do you rig the lottery? Hot Lotto results come from a computer that randomly generates numbers. Prosecutors currently believe that he may have used a self-deleting malware program to alter the outcome in his favor.


Since Tipton was fired and arrested back in January, the Multi-State Lottery Association has replaced all of the computers and software used to generate the winning numbers.


We missed this news at the time the conspirators were arrested, but the former director’s trial begins on Monday. Tipster TD let us know about the upcoming trial, musing, “Perhaps it’s time to go back to little numbered balls for all lottery drawings?” .


Hot Lotto scandal prompts security changes [Des Moines Register]




by Laura Northrup via Consumerist