Former General Motors CEOs Rick Wagoner and Dan Akerson are among 96 current and ex-employees that lawyers involved in class-action lawsuits over faulty ignition switches have asked to question under oath from May through October.
Neither appeared on a list of 35 scheduled depositions released Thursday by Texas lawyer Bob Hilliard. Wagoner and Akerson have been requested for depositions, but the parties are still working to confirm them, Hilliard’s office said today.
Mary Barra, who succeeded Akerson as CEO in January 2014, weeks before the defects came to light, is scheduled to be deposed Oct. 8, according to the list released Thursday.
The first deposition scheduled so far is Alicia Boler-Davis, GM’s senior vice president of global connected customer experience. Barra and Boler-Davis told former federal prosecutor Anton Valukas, who conducted GM’s internal investigation of the matter, that they first learned of the ignition problems in December 2013.
Boler-Davis is one of the three GM executives who approved the first ignition-switch recall of Chevrolet Cobalts on Jan. 31, 2014. Another of the three, engineering chief John Calabrese, who retired in April 2014, is scheduled for a deposition in September.
At least six of the 15 employees that GM dismissed last June have confirmed deposition dates: lawyers Jaclyn Palmer, Bill Kemp, Jennifer Sevigny and Larry Buonomo; Maureen Foley-Gardner, who was director of field performance; and Gay Kent, who was general director of vehicle safety and crashworthiness.
Hilliard’s office said Ray DeGiorgio, the engineer who designed a number of ignition switches that GM recalled last year, and Gary Altman, the Cobalt’s program engineering manager, will be deposed but don’t have dates scheduled yet. DeGiorgio and Altman also were among those fired.
Four of the 15 dismissed employees have not been identified publicly, so it’s unclear whether any of them is on the list.
Mike Millikin, GM’s soon-to-retire general counsel, also will be deposed on a date still to be determined, according to Hilliard’s office.
Numerous class-action suits against GM have been consolidated, with the first case expected to go to trial as early as January 2016. Hilliard is among the cases’ lead lawyers, who are allowed to depose 16 current or former GM employees a month for six months.
The lawyers also plan to depose other witnesses, including employees of Delphi Corp., which manufactured the defective switches.