A federal court has decided not to consider some of the claims made in General Motors' lawsuit accusing Fiat Chrysler Automobiles of bribing union officials, opting to assess only the allegations directly related to racketeering.
The court declined to hear two of the five counts in GM's suit, setting aside claims of unfair competition and civil conspiracy under state laws, according to an order issued by U.S. District Judge Paul Borman this week.
Proceeding to trial on the three claims under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act while including GM's two state law claims would "create insurmountable, confusing and prejudicial spillover-evidence issues, and also create jury confusion that instructions could not cure," Borman said in the June 15 filing.
GM alleges in the suit, which it filed in November, that FCA received an unfair labor-cost advantage by bribing UAW officials during years of contract negotiations over workers' wages and benefits. The suit also argues that Sergio Marchionne, the FCA CEO who died in 2018, wanted to weaken GM to force a merger between the two automakers.
GM spokesman Jim Cain said the automaker may file a separate suit in state court covering the issues that the federal judge is declining to consider.
"These claims were not dismissed," GM said in a statement. "In its ruling, the Court states that the majority of GM's allegations and claims against FCA and the other Defendants are made under the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) and the Court exercised jurisdiction over these RICO claims."
FCA did not comment on the order directly but reiterated its argument that the lawsuit is "meritless."
"FCA will continue to defend itself vigorously and pursue all available remedies in response to GM's groundless lawsuit," the company said in a statement.