General Motors Fires 15 Employees After Internal Report

150px-General_Motors.svgI previously wrote on the scandal at General Motors (GM) over its lethal defect in the ignition switch on various models. Now General Motors has fired 15 employees and disciplined five others after an internal investigation by attorney Anton Valukas. The move raises some interesting litigation issues going forward in the controversy with both civil and criminal elements.

I am always leery of internal investigations and the report has yet to be released. GM CEO Mary Barra described it as “extremely thorough, brutally tough, and deeply troubling.” The move to fire the workers could help on the margins in expected litigation, though GM has pushed to be protected from liability under bankruptcy laws. They may well succeed. However, if not, there is little chance of making a type of rogue employee defense with so many workers. Respondeat superior kicks in.

Given this report and the obvious gross negligence of the company, it would be a second victimization of the families of lost ones to find themselves barred from suing GM. This is likely to be of little solace for them.

56 thoughts on “General Motors Fires 15 Employees After Internal Report”

  1. “What is the species of domestic industry which his capital can employ, and of which the produce is likely to be of the greatest value, every individual, it is evident, can, in his local situation, judge much better than any statesman or lawgiver can do for him. The statesman who should attempt to direct private people in what manner they ought to employ their capitals would not only load himself with a most unnecessary attention, but assume an authority which could safely be trusted, not only to no single person, but to no council or senate whatever, and which would nowhere be so dangerous as in the hands of a man who had folly and presumption enough to fancy himself fit to exercise it.”

    Adam Smith Wealth of Nations

    I am starting to wonder if RTC has read Wealth of Nations and if has, does he understand what Smith is saying.

    I am guessing Smith read and understood Locke, Sydney, Grotius and others and Wealth of Nations and Moral Sentiments are building on their and others ideas about individual liberty.

    The more I learn, it is becoming patently obvious to me that the left is about tyranny, it is also becoming obvious that most on the left either do not understand individual rights or do not believe in them. But then how could they when they are all for imposing as much tax on individual work as is possible.

    “Though the Earth, and all inferior Creatures be common to all Men, yet every Man has a Property in his own Person. This no Body has any Right to but himself. The Labour of his Body, and the Work of his Hands, we may say, are properly his. Whatsoever then he removes out of the State that Nature hath provided, and left it in, he hath mixed his Labour with, and joyned to it something that is his own, and thereby makes it his Property. It being by him removed from the common state Nature placed it in, hath by this labour something annexed to it, that excludes the common right of other Men. For this Labour being the unquestionable Property of the Labourer, no man but he can have a right to what that is once joyned to, at least where there is enough, and as good left in common for others.”

    John Locke John Locke, Second Treatise, §§ 25–51, 123–26

  2. “By pursuing his own interest he frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it. I have never known much good done by those who affected to trade for the public good. It is an affectation, indeed, not very common among merchants, and very few words need be employed in dissuading them from it.”

    Adam Smith Wealth of Nations

    Spoken like an Objectivist. Pursuing personal interests benefit society. But the individual desires trump those of society. In other words, the individual should do what he wants to do and not be directed by society/government into a career or business in which he is not interested. If bees are his thing, he should become a bee keeper. His entusiasm for his vocation will benefit society. But it is not the goal, the goal is to live a happy life.

  3. “No regulation of commerce can increase the quantity of industry in any society beyond what its capital can maintain. It can only divert a part of it into a direction into which it might not otherwise have gone; and it is by no means certain that this artificial direction is likely to be more advantageous to the society than that into which it would have gone of its own accord.”

    Adam Smith Wealth of Nations

    Sounds like he is asking a valid question about the benefit of government intervention in the market and it seems that he isnt sure it will do much better than the “invisible hand.”

  4. “By restraining, either by high duties or by absolute prohibitions, the importation of such goods from foreign countries as can be produced at home, the monopoly of the home market is more or less secured to the domestic industry employed in producing them. Thus the prohibition of importing either live cattle*32 or salt provisions from foreign countries secures to the graziers of Great Britain the monopoly of the home market for butcher’s meat. The high duties upon the importation of corn,*33 which in times of moderate plenty amount to a prohibition, give a like advantage to the growers of that commodity. The prohibition of the importation of foreign woollens is equally favourable to the woollen manufacturers.*34 The silk manufacture, though altogether employed upon foreign materials, has lately obtained the same advantage.*35 The linen manufacture has not yet obtained it, but is making great strides towards it.*36 Many other sorts of manufacturers*37 have, in the same manner, obtained in Great Britain, either altogether or very nearly, a monopoly against their countrymen. The variety of goods of which the importation into Great Britain is prohibited, either absolutely, or under certain circumstances, greatly exceeds what can easily be suspected by those who are not well acquainted with the laws of the customs.”

    Adam Smith Wealth of Nations

    “a monopoly against their countrymen.” Now that doesnt seem like a guy interested in government involvement.

  5. Schulte: Again, you don’t know what you’re talking about, and now all you’re doing is spouting the equivalent of “I know you are, but what am I”.

      1. Paul, I just like to reduce the issue to simple common sense.

        If you have a guy lending someone $100 to be paid back next month as $101, whose fault is it when the borrower defaults on his loan? According to RTC and others here, it is obviously the lender’s fault. He should have been smart enough to know that the borrower would not pay it back, but he loaned him the money anyway because he is greedy and wanted to earn that $1 profit. Those evil banksters! If only we could get rid of them, then everyone magically would be able to buy a house with their own money.

        Now we learn that RTC takes 30 year mortgages on his homes. Clearly he does not understand finances. Who does that? I mean, besides President Obama and RTC, who does that?

  6. Speaking of a lack of credibility, Paul, if you want ot persist in your fantasy of affixing blame to gubmint at all costs, then go right ahead. Me, I’ll take Crichton’s explanation over your delusions anytime

    1. RTC – you know I am correct about the cause of the subprime market, but you just cannot bring yourself to admit it, can you?

Comments are closed.