The GM ignition key switch case took an unexpected turn last week when the lead plaintiff, Robert Schuer, withdrew his case. The decision comes on the eve of trial after accusations that Mr. Schuer and his wife had lied in Court.
Mr. Schuer had claimed that as a result of an accident, in which his airbags failed to deploy as a result of the ignition switch issues with his GM vehicle, he was cause to suffer significant injuries to his neck and back, and to be evicted from his house. However, the judge handling the case, Hon. Jesse Furman, recently ruled that GM would be allowed to present evidence that Mr. Schuer and his wife had lied in Court.
The case was intended to serve as a guide for the mass litigation that is still ongoing as a result of GM's ignition switch issues. The plaintiffs and GM were each to pick three sample cases and try those cases to a jury in order to get a sense of the value of the different types of cases involved. This case was one chosen by the plaintiffs. Given the dishonesty of Mr. Schuer, its value as a guide was largely lost as his lies were certain to have a large impact on the case.
This case highlights the importance of honesty throughout litigation. Had Mr. Schuer simply stuck to the facts, in all likelihood he would have been able to recover for the lesser injuries he did in fact suffer. Instead, he is walking away with nothing and has had to hire a criminal defense attorney as a result of his deceit.