Monsanto Roundup Lawsuit

Monday, March 16, 2015

King & Spalding US Attorneys in Ignition Switch Scandal





I said privately to many friends that it would take a lot to get me writing again on this blog. Anything that Glaxo do now or in the future won't shock or surprise me. They've done it all so nothing shocks me anymore about their behaviour.

For those that don't know, Glaxo have, in the main, been defended by US Attorney's King & Spalding. Paxil birth defect litigation, Paxil suicide litigation and Paxil withdrawal cases. In the legal circles one only has to mention King & Spalding and the Glaxo association is immediately made.

So, what can a bunch of US attorneys do to bring this old Brummie out of retirement. Well, judging by the media coverage, not a lot. In fact, since this story broke on the subscription based Law360, none, not one, of the major news outlets have reported on it. Don't you find that strange?

Oh, I almost forgot. Here's the background.

General Motors (GM) defended a lawsuit brought against them by the parents of 29 year-old Brooke Melton who was killed whilst driving her 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. Her parents had hired an engineering expert who found that it was an ignition switch flaw on the 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt that Melton was driving. The lawsuit was settled and General Motors went on to recall 2.6 million vehicles.

The Melton's settled with GM in September 2013. GM recalled 2.6 million vehicles in 2014.

At first glance one would assume that GM were acting in good faith. Not so, apparently.

After settling with the Melton's, GM admitted that they knew about the flaw some 10 years prior to the recall. Hmm, now that's not playing ball, is it?

This startling revelation saw the Melton's file suit again in May 2014. They argued that GM should rescind their previous settlement ($5 million) because it mislead the Melton's about the total number of defects. GM had previously not acknowledged that Brooke Melton’s fatal crash was caused by the ignition switch defect.

Once again, GM settled with the Melton's for an undisclosed fee. They will retain the $5 million but will also receive a payout from the GM injury compensation fund.

So, where do King & Spalding come into it?

Well, earlier today the subscription based legal website, Law360, broke the news that not only did GM know about the flaw but attorneys representing them knew too.

Law360 writes...

"General Motors Co.'s emails with King & Spalding LLP and other outside counsel show the automaker engaged in a "massive cover-up" to hide its deadly ignition switch defect, the plaintiffs' attorney who unearthed the defect and documents said Monday."

The emails in question will now be used in federal MDL cases against GM. It is unknown whether or not these emails will ever be made public.

The article on Law360 can be accessed here.


You can follow King & Spalding on Twitter by clicking on the links below.

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Related King & Spalding stories:

Ryan, Glaxo's Non-Viable Fetus - Part I

Ryan, Glaxo's Non-Viable Fetus - Part II - The Twists


Bob Fiddaman.