By: Ravi Vohra
St. John’s Law Student
American Bankruptcy Institute Law Review Staff
In Motors Liquidation Co., the Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York denied class certification and disallowed two claims set forth by the Botha and Balintulo claimants (the “Class Claimants”) in General Motors Corporation’s (“Old GM”) chapter 11 proceedings. The claims were first raised prepetition by 26 named plaintiffs in two separate groups, (the “Botha Plaintiffs” and the “Balintulo Plaintiffs”), and Old GM filed its chapter 11 petition while those lawsuits were still pending. The Botha and Balintulo Plaintiffs then filed proofs of claims against the corporation. More than twelve months after Old GM’s chapter 11 filing and eight months after the bar date, the Class Claimants moved for class treatment and Old GM then sought to disallow the class claims. Among other things, the Class Claimants alleged that they were victims of the infamous system of apartheid in South Africa, and that Old GM aided and abetted the perpetrators of the apartheid system in causing the claimants’ injuries.