The first federal trial over GM’s faulty ignition switches is dead in the water after a big plot twist. Turns out the plaintiff in the case is accused of fraud and perjury, so the judge dismissed the case.
Here’s the deal. An Oklahoma mailman had been suing GM after being involved in a crash involving a Saturn Ion. He claims the car’s airbags didn’t deploy in the crash, which ended up causing him to lose his family’s dream home. He says he lost his memory due to his injuries and subsequently misplaced a nearly $50,000 dollar down payment for the house. The family ended up being evicted.
However, the automaker says 49-year-old Robert Scheuer was lying about the memory thing. GM says Scheuer lost his home because of check fraud, not the accident. According to Bloomberg, GM’s lawyers say he faked a $441,430 check stub from his government employee retirement account as “proof of funds” to close the home sale. The original stub was for just $430 before it was altered.
GM’s lawyers also say they also learned that Scheuer was on vacation shortly after the accident, not bedridden as he had claimed.
So all of this said, Scheuer agreed to drop his lawsuit this week and any claims against GM.
“Plaintiffs have only themselves to blame for the fact that this case has become such an outlier,” U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman said of the case dismissal. “Quite frankly, I would have thought counsel would do more due diligence before selecting this case for trial than obviously happened.”
Yes, you have to wonder how this guy ever thought he’d get away with something like this, if indeed the fraud and perjury accusations all end up being true.
The case is only the first of a handful of GM ignition-switch cases headed for trial. They all stem around accidents in GM vehicles that the automaker admits had faulty ignition switches.