DETROIT - Claims that Robert Lutz, General Motors and other investors in Lutz's luxury sports car venture conspired to force out one of Cunningham Motor Co.'s principals were dismissed last week by a U.S. District Court judge in Kentucky.
Judge Karl Forester ruled Monday, April 7, that automotive entrepreneur Briggs Cunningham III failed to support his claims of wrongdoing by GM.
In addition, claims against GM Vice Chairman Lutz, Cunningham Motor President Jack McCormack and company lawyer Walter Borda were dismissed on grounds that the U.S District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky in Lexington has no jurisdiction to hear the case.
The fight is not over, says an attorney for Briggs Cunningham. The ruling on the claims against GM will be appealed, while claims against the remaining defendants will be refiled in Michigan, Mark Hayden says.
Cunningham, in a suit filed Sept. 6, 2002, in U.S. District Court in Covington, Ky., claims he was forced to sell his stock back to Cunningham Motor at $1 a share so he could pay off a loan used for startup capital. Later, GM paid $5 a share to invest in the venture.
GM, Lutz, McCormack and Borda prevailed in court but collectively lost millions of dollars in the Cunningham Motor project when it collapsed because of Cunningham's suit.