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Lawmakers Skewer GM's Top Lawyer for 'Massive Failure of Responsibility'

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Congressional lawmakers took aim at General Motors’ top attorney at a subcommittee hearing on Thursday, and questioned how he held on to his job amid mounting lawsuits. Michael P. Millikin, GM’s executive vice president and general counsel, appeared on Capitol Hill with chief executive Mary Barra, the company’s fourth appearance before lawmakers since it recalled vehicles related to ignition switch issues blamed for more than a dozen deaths. Subcommittee chair Senator Claire McCaskill questioned how Millikin was allowed to stay in his job as suits related to the defect came to the company’s attention. “I do not understand how the general counsel of a litigation department that had this massive failure of responsibility, how he would be allowed to continue in that important leadership role in that company,” McCaskill said. Millikin said he first heard of the switch problems in February, and that there were lawyers at GM. “We had lawyers at GM who didn’t do their jobs,” Millikin said. “Those lawyers are no longer with the company.”

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--- NBC News Staff with CNBC

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