The judge to GM and FCA: find an agreement, the country requires it



The case brought by Mary Barra judged a waste of time and resources while serving on pandemic, racism and injustice

by Marco Valsania

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Mike Manley, CEO of FCA

The case brought by Mary Barra judged a waste of time and resources while serving on pandemic, racism and injustice

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New York – Mary Barra and Mike Manley must negotiate face to face to resolve their legal duel, which represents an extraordinary waste of time while the country – and car manufacturers – have much more to worry about. Yet: a negotiated solution by the CEO of General Motors and that of FCA is in all respects a moral dutyafter companies have both been bailed out by the government and taxpayer money in past years and therefore have a heavy debt to the nation.

This was the extraordinary judgment and order given by Detroit federal judge Paul Berman, in charge of settling the great battle in court between rival companies when Barra filed a complaint for damages against the Italian-American group led by Manley. At stake: the ramifications of a union corruption scandal from which GM claims to have been significantly damaged while FCA would have benefited.

The judge: “The country deserves an agreement”

Of course, the meeting between the two top executives will have to take place with all the necessary precautions, namely the precautions of social distancing indispensable during the pandemic. But, at the request of the judge, the CEOs must speak directly to try to negotiate a way out, a compromise. And the meeting must take place quickly, by July 1st.

It was his explicit motivations, an ethical slap to the duelists, that made the move by Detroit’s federal judge Paul Borman particularly extraordinary: the magistrate said he was tired of the dispute and explicitly mentioned the need to overcome divisions in the country in a ‘was characterized by the pandemic and racial tensions. “Today our country needs and deserves these large and now healthy companies to repay us by focusing on the need to save the nation and its citizens from the scourge of Covid-19, racism and injustice, while building the best vehicles in the world Thundered Borman.

A case that exploded in November

The judge did not issue any decision on a request to close the case filed by FCA, saying only that he will consider it. But he had heavy words for the legal action launched by GM: «What a waste of time and resources, now and for years to come, in a similar mega-battle, if two car leaders and their team of lawyers were to devote significant time-consuming efforts to pursue this nuclear option complaint. “

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