G. M. agrees to maintain legal liabilty for future claims involving defective products after bankruptcy
As it was initially envisioned, the bankruptcy process involving General Motors would have resulted in the elimination of any liability for injuries caused by defective products, whether filed currently or in the future. That would have closed the doors on a number of pending claims alleging death or serious injury resulting from a defective product. After several state Attorneys General protested on behalf of injury victims, the company and the Obama Administration have agreed to continue to recognize G.M.'s pre-existing product liability obligations, but apparently only with respect to unfiled claims.
According to the New York Times' explanation on Saturday, claims already filed would be treated the same as the claims filed by other creditors or claimants: they would be left behind with the bankrupt carcass and likely recieve little or no compensation. Chrysler secured similar treatment for all product liability claims in its bankruptcy, as the claims remain the obligation only of the shedded skin entitled OldCarCo. In the case of G.M.'s bankruptcy, however, coverage will be provided in normal legal fasion, however, for claims filed post-bankruptcy.
Auto dealers and representatives of victims with existing and filed claims object to the proposed procedure in both bankruptcies.