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Michigan files objection to Chrysler sale

by Bill Cawthon on

Late yesterday, the Michigan Workers’ Compensation Agency and Funds Administration attempted to stop Chrysler from selling its assets. In a legal brief, Mike Cox, the state’s attorney general, said Chrysler’s plan to abandon its $140 million obligation could bankrupt the fund that supports employees who are injured on the job.

Chrysler, like most large companies, does not have outside workers’ compensation insurance. It is self-insured. Should the company become unable or unwilling to meet its obligations, the state fund could become insolvent, leaving injured workers without resources.

Corinne Ball, Chrysler’s lead attorney in its bankruptcy case, said the automaker is committed to operating within the law and wants to honor its obligations. A Chrysler spokeswoman said the company is already working with the state agency but did not give any specifics.

Judge Arthur J. Gonzalez said he would rule later on the state’s objection but declined to postpone the May 27 approval date for the sale.

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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