GM still wants a payout after FCA was caught bribing unions.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), which is now part of the Stellantis Group, is accusing General Motors of corporate espionage. It's doing so to block the Wayne Country Circuit Court from reopening GM's lawsuit against it. The original case dates back to 2019, following a long union-initiated strike action that was strong enough to delay the C8 Corvette.
The court recently dismissed GM's original civil lawsuit against FCA. FCA executives were alleged to have paid millions in bribes to United Auto Workers (UAW) to corrupt three rounds of bargaining in an attempt to take over GM. GM claims it suffered billions of dollars in damages as a result, but the court ruled in favor of FCA.
According to the court, GM failed to demonstrate how it was harmed adequately. The original case was an accusation of fraud and unfair competition, which was essentially proved when an FCA official recently admitted to paying bribes.
GM requested a reconsideration soon after the original verdict, but FCA maintains that it still hasn't addressed the flaws in the first complaint. Put simply, FCA says GM still does not have adequate evidence to prove harm.
FCA is also accusing GM of impersonating both its employees and lawyers to prove the existence of the foreign bank accounts used to bribe UAW officials.
"The only corporate espionage apparent on the face of GM's Proposed Second Amended Complaint is that perpetrated by GM and its counsel in retaining private investigators to spoof the 'email addresses' of former FCA employees in emails sent to 'financial institutions' around the globe," FCA's lawyer, Thomas Cranmer, wrote in response to a request for comment from The Detroit News. "However GM seeks to dress it up, such spoofing of email addresses violates Michigan's Rules of Professional Conduct, which prohibit lawyers from directly, or 'through the acts of another,' engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation."
"GM has moved for reconsideration of the court's Order dismissing the state court case," a spokesperson said in a statement prepared by GM. "GM is entitled under the rules to file an amended complaint, and we have done so now which sets forth new and more detailed allegations about the years-long bribery scheme through which FCA and the other defendants harmed GM."
FCA continues to argue that even if it had foreign bank accounts, it doesn't prove it paid Alphons Iacobelli (former FCA vice president and labor negotiator who moved over to GM) or Joe Ashton, the former head of UAW's GM department.
"GM's claims are meritless as we have said all along," Stellantis spokeswoman Shawn Morgan said in a statement. "GM's claims have been dismissed with prejudice multiple times in both federal and state courts, but GM through its lawyers continues to peddle these claims aggressively, now admitting that they used 'spoofed' emails in search of some support for its preposterous conspiracy theory, an apparent violation of applicable Rules of Professional Conduct. We will continue to defend ourselves vigorously and pursue all available remedies in response to this groundless lawsuit."