A Wayne County Circuit Court judge has thrown out one of General Motors (GM) lawsuits against the former Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), which now operates under Stellantis. The lawsuit was related to the corruption scandal between several former United Auto Workers (UAW) officials and executives from the company, which GM called “fraud and unfair competition”.
In 2019, GM sued FCA claiming that the Italian-American auto manufacturer bribed union officials over several years to sway union bargaining measures in favor of the automaker. GM stated that under the leadership of the late former FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne, FCA put forth a bribery scheme to harm GM by driving up labor costs during contract bargaining between the automakers and union members. The ploy was intended to hurt GM and ultimately force them to merge with FCA. The merger never did happen, as FCA merged with Peugeot S.A. (PSA) earlier this year to create the new Stellantis identity.
Marchionne did make it notable that he had a great interest in merging two companies during several interviews.
On Friday, Judge David Allen dismissed the case saying that GM had “failed to adequately demonstrate that FCA caused it any actual, legally recognizable harm through its bribery scheme.” The state lawsuit had named two former FCA executives who had already pleaded guilty in a Justice Department bribery probe.
Back in July 2020, a U.S. District Judge rejected GM’s federal racketeering lawsuit against FCA in which the automaker claimed similar bribery claims. According to a Reuters report, GM still has a pending appeal against that case.
Stellantis North America (which was known as FCA US LLC) plead guilty in August, to conspiracy to violate the Labor Management Relations Act, also known as the Taft-Hartley Act. The company was convicted of making around $3.5 million in illegal payments to UAW officials from 2009 to 2016. The automaker was fined $30 million and now will be overseen by a compliance monitor for the next three years.