FCA Defeats GM in Sixth Circuit

August 29, 2022

In a resounding win for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Sullivan & Cromwell helped persuade the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit to affirm the dismissal of a high-profile RICO suit brought by General Motors. Seeking billions of dollars in damages, GM alleged that it was harmed when FCA and several of its former executives made improper payments to former United Auto Workers officials.
 
The stakes for FCA (now known as Stellantis) were enormous. When GM filed the case in 2019, a JPMorgan analyst noted that “there is reason to believe GM could ask for at least $6 billion in damages and could seek as much as $15 billion using one approach to calculating labor cost damages.”
 
In 2020, S&C prevailed for FCA in this dispute at the district court. The court held that, even accepting GM’s allegations as true, FCA’s conduct did not proximately cause GM’s alleged injury. The Sixth Circuit unanimously affirmed in August, noting that GM failed to specify exactly how it was harmed by FCA’s actions.
 
The S&C team led by Matthew Porpora, Rick Pepperman, Samantha Hynes, Jacob Cohen and former partner Steve Holley has advised FCA in every stage of the case since its filing, and continues to advise the company on a related state court case brought by GM. A hallmark of S&C is our generalist training, which allows our litigators to handle matters through their life cycles, providing clients with continuity in representation and a thorough understanding of the facts and issues.  
 
This result is one of a number of litigation victories that S&C has secured for longtime client FCA, including in high-stakes product liability, employment and white-collar matters.
 
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