General Motors filed a request with the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to allow it to continue to pursue civil racketeering charges against Fiat Chrysler on Friday, noting that a previous judge’s solution was not to their liking.
Earlier this week we reported that Judge Paul Borman ordered GM CEO Mary Barra to meet in person and alone with Fiat Chrysler CEO Mike Manley to hash out a sprawling, 95-page lawsuit tête-à-tête. The case stems from GM accusing FCA of bribing UAW leaders in order to develop labor contracts that put GM at a disadvantage. Judge Borman sounded straight up sick and tired of the two companies and their bickering on Tuesday.
Judge Borman’s rant is pretty great. He cited the federal bailout of both companies in 2008, and how the two automakers need to repay the American people by efficiently running their companies during this unprecedented time and not by bringing frivolous lawsuits that could stretch on for years. His ruling was that the CEOs of GM and FCA should meet without lawyers and figure this thing out, as there are bigger challenges facing all of us in the Year Of Our ‘Rona 2020. He even gave the companies a week to get their acts together:
I am ordering that no later than July 1, 2020, just the two CEOs, Mary Barra and Michael Manley, meet in person (social distancing), to reach a sensible resolution of this huge legal distraction. This will enable you personally, and your companies to fully concentrate, in addition to your “day jobs”, not just through committees, on providing the leadership and vision this country requires, and deserves, in solving today’s aforementioned critical issues.
Time is of the essence. So, I repeat; Mary Barra and Michael Manley, meet face-to-face, in good faith, and with good will, to resolve this huge legal diversion, to permit you and your companies to also fully focus your talents on healing this country as we all embark on the critical road ahead.
Sounds like a fair deal, but GM begs to differ, according to Automotive News:
In its motion Friday, GM asked the appeals court to throw out Borman’s order and reassign the case to a different district court judge. GM in its petition called Borman’s order “unprecedented” and “a profound abuse” of judicial power.
In the meantime, FCA says it’s ready to comply with Borman’s order, oh and also GM’s lawsuit is actually aimed at disrupting its merger with the French Automaker PSA Group, which includes brands like Peugeot and Citroën.
Under American law, corporations are treated like individuals. No one said they had to behave like adults.