NEW YORK -- A New York judge has told lawyers he'll encourage settlements in lawsuits brought on behalf of nearly 1,000 plaintiffs against General Motors for defective ignition switches.
Federal Judge Jesse Furman told dozens of lawyers at a hearing Monday he'll be careful not to interfere with the work of a bankruptcy judge who's deciding if the automaker's 2009 bankruptcy protects it from damages.
Detroit-based General Motors Co. says at least 13 people have died in crashes linked to the problem. Lawyers suing GM say the death toll is at least 60.
GM has acknowledged knowing the switches had problems since at least 2001.
But it wasn't until February it began recalling 2.6 million of the cars, mainly Chevrolet Cobalts and Saturn Ions.