Michigan judge tosses GM lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler

WASHINGTON, Oct 17 (Reuters) - A Michigan judge has thrown out a lawsuit that General Motors Co (GM.N) filed against Stellantis' Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) that accused its rival of fraud and unfair competition.

GM sued FCA in 2019, alleging it bribed United Auto Workers (UAW) union officials over many years to corrupt the bargaining process and gain advantages, costing GM billions of dollars.

Wayne County Circuit Judge David Allen on Friday dismissed GM's state court lawsuit, which also named two former FCA executives who previously pleaded guilty in a Justice Department bribery probe.

The judge said that GM "failed to adequately demonstrate that FCA caused it any actual, legally recognizable harm through its bribery scheme."

Allen noted that GM's allegations against FCA spanned more than a decade, dating back to 2009, adding: "Even the most enthralling drama must eventually reach a conclusion. This one is no exception."

GM's lawsuit had sought "damages in an amount to be determined at trial, including but not limited to the billions of dollars in damages GM suffered."

Stellantis spokeswoman Shawn Morgan said on Sunday: "As we have said from the date the original lawsuit was filed, it is meritless. The courts once again agreed and dismissed GM’s complaint."

A GM spokesman said on Sunday: "We respectfully disagree with the ruling and are considering our legal options."

In July 2020, U.S. District Judge Paul Borman rejected GM's federal racketeering lawsuit that made parallel bribery claims against FCA. GM's appeal of Borman's ruling is pending.

In August, Stellantis' North American operating subsidiary known as FCA US LLC was sentenced in federal court after pleading guilty to conspiracy to violate the Labor Management Relations Act.

FCA was convicted of making $3.5 million in illegal payments to UAW officers between 2009 and 2016. FCA paid a $30 million fine and faces three years of oversight by an independent monitor.

To date, 14 have been convicted in the probe, including three former FCA executives and two former UAW presidents.

Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Peter Cooney

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