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GM accuses ignition-switch trial plaintiff of dream-house fraud

January 19, 2016

An Oklahoma man suing General Motors Co. in the first trial over a deadly ignition switch flaw lied to the jury about his family’s eviction from its “dream house” after he committed fraud against a real estate agent, the company says.

Robert Scheuer, a mail carrier who claims the defect disabled his air bag in a 2014 car wreck, has blamed GM for the eviction. On Tuesday, lawyers for GM said they found evidence that Scheuer, his wife and two children were kicked out of the house in suburban Tulsa, Oklahoma, because he fabricated a $441,000 check stub from the federal government’s retirement fund to get approval to move in. The check was actually for $430.72, GM said in court papers.

“A serious question is raised as to whether or not plaintiff – through the positions he has taken in this court and through his testimony and that of his wife – misled his own counsel, as well as the court and the jury,” GM attorney Richard Godfrey said in a filing Tuesday in Manhattan federal court, where the trial is in its second week.

GM, which has admitted to the ignition switch flaw and paid more than $2 billion in related legal costs and settlements, denies the defect caused Scheuer’s injuries or that the company had anything to do with his financial troubles. The carmaker asked the court for permission to allow two new witnesses to testify, including a real estate agent who contacted the company after the trial began, offering details about the Scheuer family’s attempted purchase of the house and its subsequent eviction, which involved Tulsa police.

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