July 2009

According to Bloomberg, GM has accepted that liabilities for past products, manufactured by the bankrupt GM will stay with the new company which will be formed in the bankruptcy proceeding.  To quote the story:

GM “amended the sale agreement to clarify that it will take on some tax and workers’ compensation claims, maintain utility service to plants being left behind and accept future product liability and lemon law claims. That should significantly alleviate objectors’ concerns.”

That is good news for consumers: there will be a responsible party to pay for damages caused by the “old” GM’s negligence.  However the changes GM agreed to do not cover thousands of asbestos claims pending against the company.  Those claims would stay with the bankrupt entity, which would mean thse claimants will receive nothing.  In addition the agreement says that only claims arising after a new company is formed will be handled by the new company, meaning pending claims will stay with the bankrupt estate.

The Treasury-funded company, Vehicle Acquisition Holdings LLC, is the only potential buyer for GM.  The government’s goal for the company is to have the sale closed in 90 days.

A jury in Cobb County, Georgia awarded a Home Depot customer $1.5 million for an accident that happened in 2005, according to a story on AJC.com.  The plaintiff, Larry Reece was injured when a pallet full of plywood fell from a forklift, 24 feet above the ground.  Reece was trapped under the wood after the accident.

The victim suffered from neck and spinal injuries and underwent surgery to repair herniated discs.  The medical expenses for the surgery to repair the disc injury were over $120,000.  Home Depot has faced numerous claims over the years from those injured by its “sky shelving”, merchandise packed on shelves high above the aisles where customers walk.