Borman ordered GM CEO Mary Barra and FCA CEO Mike Manley to meet by July 1 to negotiate a resolution, and later amended his order to allow other officials in their place. On Monday, Borman said in an order that the July 1 call would simply entail the executives answering “yes” or “no” on whether the case had been resolved.
Judges routinely call for parties to explore settlements and GM simply wasn’t happy with some of Borman’s questions in the last hearing, FCA said in its Monday filing.
Removing Borman would be “a direct affront to the rule of law” FCA said in the filing. “GM’s ‘bruised feelings’ about facing tough questions cannot be a valid basis for replacing the judge.”
GM sued FCA last year, accusing the Italian-American company’s executives of bribing UAW leaders to secure labor agreements that put GM at a disadvantage. FCA is under investigation by the U.S. Justice Department as part of a wide-ranging probe of UAW corruption.
GM’s accusations came as FCA and French automaker Peugeot SA were in the early stages of preparing for a merger. FCA has said the suit was aimed at disrupting that deal. GM has said the suit has nothing to do with the merger.