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Lawyer Conflict Of Interest Alleged In GM Ignition Switch Bellwether Trials

Attorney asks judge to reexamine settlement fund; claims lawyer conflict of interest on part of plaintiff attorney in first General Motors ignition switch defect trials.

An attorney has requested that the settlement fund established to compensate more than 1,000 customers suing General Motors over faulty ignition switches be reexamined by a judge. Mark Cooper, an attorney representing plaintiffs in the consolidated case, claims

lawyer conflict of interest on the part of another plaintiff attorney, Robert Hilliard, alleging Hilliard may have cut a deal with GM to limit their financial risk.

Cooper previously asked a Manhattan federal judge to remove Hilliard and the two other co-lead lawyers after the first of six so-called bellwether cases went sour on them.

In Wednesday's filing, Cooper urges the judge to reconsider his approval of a settlement fund for more than 1,000 of Hilliard's clients.

"This latest unsupportable filing by Mr. Cooper satisfies me that he has comfortably settled in to his self-appointed role as official loose cannon to this litigation," Hilliard said in an e-mail. "His 'sky is falling' approach, though unprofessional and self-demeaning, will be addressed in our response."

Cooper contends Hilliard made a deal as part of this settlement that limits GM's financial exposure in the first jury trials.

Last week, two of Hilliard's clients, an Oklahoma mail carrier and his wife, dropped their suit after the postman was accused of fabricating a check stub to try to buy their "dream" house, leading to their eviction.

Robert and Lisa Scheuer had claimed that injuries from an accident they say was caused by the faulty ignition switch ultimately cost them the home. Hilliard said earlier that the choice of Scheuer as the first trial was appropriate.

GM recalled 2.59 million small cars in 2014 to replace faulty ignition switches, which have been linked to at least 124 deaths.

A version of this content was

originally posted by Edvard Pettersson and Margaret Cronin Fisk on

Lawyer Conflict of Interest Representation - Ball & Bonholtzer Trial Attorney - Los Angeles


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