Appeals Court opens door to more GM ignition switch lawsuits

DETROIT (AP) — A federal appeals court has decided that people injured in crashes caused by faulty General Motors Co. ignition switches can sue the company even if they were hurt before GM’s 2009 bankruptcy filing.

The ruling by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan means that hundreds of pre-bankruptcy claims can proceed, including some lawsuits alleging that GM’s actions caused the value of its cars to drop.

The ruling at least partly overturns a bankruptcy judge’s decision that the General Motors that emerged from bankruptcy protection was shielded from claims stemming from pre-bankruptcy crashes.

Robert Hilliard, a lead attorney in the death and injury cases, says GM is now exposed to billions more in liabilities. GM says it’s reviewing the ruling and that plaintiffs still must prove their claims.

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