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Judge's comments could abruptly end GM ignition switch trial

NEW YORK -- The first New York trial aimed at defining settlement options for hundreds of lawsuits stemming from General Motors Co.'s faulty ignition switches could end abruptly.

Federal Judge Jesse Furman on Thursday said the case brought by an Oklahoma man against Detroit-based GM was "almost worthless as a settlement tool." He urged both sides to take "a very hard look" at whether it's worthwhile to continue presenting the case to the jury or leaving it in his hands for a ruling.

The judge commented after numerous holes were shown in the claims of Robert Scheuer, who says he suffered injuries when his air bags failed to deploy.

GM's ignition switches sometimes shut off vehicle functions, causing accidents. Millions of vehicles were recalled. GM says it has fixed the problem.

The Manhattan trial began more than a week ago.

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