The Pak Banker - - COMPANIES/BOSS -

An Ok­la­homa man su­ing Gen­eral Mo­tors (GM.N) in the first trial in fed­eral lit­i­ga­tion over its mas­sive en­gine switch re­call has hired a crim­i­nal de­fense at­tor­ney af­ter the car­maker ac­cused him and his wife of mak­ing mis­lead­ing state­ments in their tes­ti­mony. U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman in Man­hat­tan on Wed­nes­day said plain­tiff Robert Scheuer will be rep­re­sented by at­tor­ney Priya Chaudhry, and his wife Lisa will be rep­re­sented by Charles Clay­man. Both have ex­ten­sive ex­pe­ri­ence rep­re­sent­ing crim­i­nal de­fen­dants, ac­cord­ing to their firm bi­ogra­phies. The move was prompted by a mo­tion Mon­day from GM claim­ing the Scheuers may have given false tes­ti­mony to jurors about the cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing their evic­tion from their home months af­ter Robert said he was in­jured in an ac­ci­dent in­volv­ing a 2003 Saturn Ion, one of 2.6 mil­lion ve­hi­cles with the faulty switch re­called in 2014.

If suc­cess­ful, GM's mo­tion may dam­age the cred­i­bil­ity of a key player in an on­go­ing trial over the switch, which is the sub­ject of sev­eral hun­dred law­suits. Scheuer's law­suit ac­cuses GM of con­ceal­ing the de­fect, which has been linked to nearly 400 in­juries and deaths. He says he suf­fered phys­i­cal and emo­tional dam­ages as a re­sult of a 2014 car crash in which his air bags failed to de­ploy, al­legedly due to the switch. Dur­ing tes­ti­mony last week, the Scheuers said that af­ter the crash they were evicted from their "dream house" be­cause they did not make a promised pay­ment. GM said that, af­ter the trial be­gan, it was con­tacted by the real es­tate agent in­volved in the house sale who said he be­lieved Scheuer may have al­tered a check stub to make it ap­pear as if he had suf­fi­cient funds to pay for the house.

GM said this con­tra­dicted the Scheuers' ac­counts as to why the pay­ment was not de­liv­ered. Scheuer's civil lawyers urged the judge to deny GM's re­quest for the agent to tes­tify. They said Scheuer was not pur­su­ing any mon­e­tary dam­ages in con­nec­tion with his hous­ing. Furman is ex­pected to rule on GM's mo­tion in the com­ing days. GM spokesman Jim Cain said GM's briefs "lay out a very trou­bling fact pat­tern and raise ques­tions that need to be an­swered." Scheuer's civil lawyer Robert Hil­liard called GM's re­quest a bid to shift fo­cus away from the deadly de­fect. Lisa Scheuer's crim­i­nal de­fense at­tor­ney could not be reached for com­ment, and Chaudhry de­clined to com­ment. The case is In re: Gen­eral Mo­tors Ig­ni­tion Switch Lit­i­ga­tion, U.S. District Court for the South­ern District of New York, No. 14-2543.

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