The carrion-eaters are gathering.

Of all the problems haunting General Motors Co over its handling of defective ignition switches, the one with plaintiffs’ lawyers is just beginning.

The company’s size and self-confessed failures in an internal report released last week are attracting lawyers who forged some of the biggest civil settlements ever


It is common for bad headlines and deep pockets to lure plaintiffs’ lawyers—and a pile of lawsuits. In 2012, BP PLC agreed to pay at least $7.8 billion to end litigation over the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Toyota settled for about $1.1 billion with owners of about 16 million cars affected by unintended-acceleration problems. Plaintiffs’ lawyers collected about $227 million in fees and costs.


Mark Robinson, [a] Newport Beach, CA lawyer…won a $127 million jury verdict in 1978 against Ford Motor Co….

Mr Robinson is hoping to be a major force in the GM ignition-switch suits. Also maneuvering for influence is Elizabeth Cabraser of San Francisco, a leader in litigation over the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989, breast implants and the drugs Vioxx and Fen-Phen. The two lawyers are co-lead counsel for plaintiffs in personal-injury cases against Toyota.

But of course….

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