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Schnader Team Representing Unsecured Creditors in the Chrysler and GM Bankruptcies are Highlighted in the Media

On June 3, 2009 by Schnader in Appellate

On June 3, Barry Bressler, a partner in Schnader’s Philadelphia office, was interviewed for a report that aired on ABC’s World News with Charles Gibson (click to review the report) regarding the consumer victims of Chrysler and General Motors who are likely going to lose most of their rights as a result of the bankruptcy proceedings.  In the case of Chrysler, a sale of the company to Fiat would mean that the injured victims with approximately $600 million claims against the company will – according to the company’s own executives – get no more than half a penny on the dollar for their claims. There is a very real chance that the injured individuals will get nothing.

Schnader represents two of the fifteen members of the General Motors Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors, one of the fifteen members of the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the Chrysler bankruptcy case, and the Ad Hoc Committees of Consumer Victims of General Motors and Chrysler, which includes approximately 450 product liability tort claimants with nearly $2 billion in unresolved claims against the two automakers.  In addition to Mr. Bressler, the team includes Richard Barkasy, a partner in the Firm’s Cherry Hill office, Benjamin Deutsch, a partner in the Firm’s New York office, and Nancy Winkelman, a partner in the Firm’s Philadelphia office. 

On June 5, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the claims of the victims and upheld the bankruptcy court Section 363 sale; with the assistance of the co-chair of Schnader’s nationally known Appellate Practice Group, Nancy Winkelman, the case was appealed to the United States Supreme Court and a request made to extend a temporary stay on the sale of Chrysler to Fiat.  The case went before Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, who issued a temporary stay on June 8.  Unfortunately, the Supreme Court lifted its stay on the sale the following day.

There was wide-spread coverage of the Supreme Court appeal, and Mr. Bressler was quoted in articles in The Legal Intelligencer, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and New York Newsday, as well as a report broadcast on KYW-AM 1060 Radio (Philadelphia, PA).