GM to seek court protection against ignition lawsuits

General Motors headquarters, April 1, 2014, Detroit
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General Motors said it would ask a U.S. bankruptcy court to bar plaintiffs from proceeding with lawsuits against the automaker for claims related to any actions before it filed for bankruptcy in 2009.

The plaintiffs have alleged that they bought or leased vehicles that contained an ignition switch defect. The defect has been linked to the deaths of at least 13 people and resulted in the recall of 2.6 million GM vehicles.

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In a filing with U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas on Tuesday, GM asked for a stay on litigation related to ignition claims until a judicial panel on multidistrict litigation decides on a motion to consolidate the claims and the bankruptcy court rules on whether the claims violate GM's 2009 bankruptcy sale order.

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The company earlier filed with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California seeking a stay on pending litigation.

GM said it would shortly file a motion in the Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York to enforce an injunction contained in its sale order, which the company said bars plaintiffs from suing the reorganized company for any claims related to the predecessor company.

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The Texas case was in Re: Charles Silvas and Grace Silvas vs. General Motors LLC in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas, No. 2:14-CV-00089.

By Reuters