Automobile Defect Cases

Products Liability/Auto

$150,000,000 Verdict - 4/2/2015. Walden v. Chrysler Group, LLC and Bryan L. Harrell, Superior Court of Decatur County, Georgia.

On March 6, 2012, 4½ year old Remington Cole Walden burned alive after the 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee in which he was riding exploded in flames following a rear impact with a pickup truck driven by Bryan Harrell. The Grand Cherokee had a defective gas tank located in an area Chrysler knew would be crushed in a rear impact—behind the rear axle, only 11 inches from the rear, hanging 6 inches below the bottom of the car. According to the independent medical examiner, Remington was alive for up to one minute in the fire. Remington’s parents sued Mr. Harrell and Chrysler. Mr. Harrell admitted responsibility for the crash. Chrysler denied all responsibility.

At trial, Plaintiffs proved that Chrysler had known for decades about the dangers of that gas tank design. Plaintiffs proved that Chrysler had itself been warned repeatedly, by its own customers and its knowledge of real world wrecks, that its rear gas tank design was dangerous in rear impacts. Despite that knowledge, Chrysler sold the Grand Cherokee with a rear gas tank and refused to warn anyone.

The verdict was rendered in less than 90 minutes after a nine day trial. The jury found that Chrysler had acted with "reckless or wanton disregard for human life" and that it "had a duty to warn and failed to warn of a hazard associated" with the Jeep. The jury also found the Mr. Harrell liable. The jury awarded $120 million for the full value of Remington’s life and $30 million for the pain and suffering he experienced before his death. The jury determined that Chrysler was 99% at fault, and Mr. Harrell was 1% at fault.

Chrysler had never before stood trial in any rear gas tank lawsuit filed against it, having settled prior lawsuits. Remington’s parents declined to settle. This was the largest products liability verdict in Georgia history and the largest compensatory damages verdict in Georgia history in a personal injury case.


Products Liability/Auto

Cash Settlement - 10/2/2013. Linda Hatfield, et. al. v. Ford Motor Company, et al., State Court of Bibb County, Georgia.

As Mrs. Hatfield and her family drove down Interstate 16 in a 2002 Mercury Grand Marquis, a tractor-trailer merged into their lane struck the car in the rear. The car was forced off the road, then it rolled over. Tragically, Ford Motor Company had manufactured the car with a defectively weak roof. When the roof hit the ground, the portion over Mrs. Hatfield caved in and struck her in the head, forcing her head forward and down. The collapsing roof broke her neck, leaving Mrs. Hatfield paralyzed from the neck down. On behalf of Mrs. Hatfield and her husband, we filed suit against the trucking company and Ford Motor Company. We took the case all the way through trial, completing a 2.5-week trial on October 2. When the jury announced that it had reached a verdict, but before the jury could announce what the verdict was, Ford made an offer to settle the case. The Hatfield family accepted. The amount of the settlement is confidential.


Auto Product Liability / Ford Explorer Rear Restraint System / Lap Only Seat Belt

$17,716,401 Verdict - 12/18/2009, Wheeler v. Ford Motor Company, et al., State Court, Clayton County, Georgia.

Plaintiffs Lynn and Douglas Wheeler won their design defect and failure to warn claims against Ford Motor Company relating to the 2002 Ford Explorer. On Christmas morning 2005, 58 year old Lynn Wheeler was on her way to church with her family. Lynn Wheeler was seated in the rear center seat of her sons 2002 Ford Explorer, wearing the lap-only seat belt Ford installed for that seating position. Two of Lynn Wheelers grandchildren were in child seats on either side of her. As they entered a curve on Noahs Ark Road, a two door Eagle Talon coupe driven by John C. Stanley crossed the centerline and struck the Explorer head-on.

In the crash, the latch on the Explorer rear bench seat broke and the seat collapsed and began to fold down and forward. The lap only seat belt also allowed Ms. Wheeler to jackknife over and strike her head on the back of the front seat. As a result, Lynn Wheeler suffered a catastrophic spinal cord injury that left her quadriplegic.

Mr. Stanley admitted responsibility for the crash. Ford denied all responsibility. At trial, plaintiffs proved Ford knew, from Fords own crash tests and internal documents, that its rear center seats and restraint systems were failing and endangering passengers. Plaintiffs proved Ford planned to install a safer design - including a three-point belt instead of a lap only belt -- in the 2002 Explorer but decided to delay that design to a later model year.

At the conclusion of trial, the jury awarded $17,716,401 for Lynn Wheeler and her husband's claims. The jury also separately found that Ford's conduct showed reckless disregard for safety and decided to award additional punitive damages against Ford. After a second phase of trial, while the jury was out deciding what amount of punitive damages to award, Ford settled the case. The amount of the settlement is confidential.


Product Liability / Defective Airbag / Catastrophic Brain Injury
Confidential Cash Settlement

The defective, overly aggressive passenger-side airbag in Mrs. Wanda Howard's 1997 F-150 went off in a low speed collision when another vehicle pulled out in front of the Howards. Neither Mr. Howard nor Mrs. Howard were at fault in the wreck. Both were wearing their seat belts. No one in either vehicle, except Mrs. Howard, suffered any significant injury in this low speed collision. Mrs. Howard's severe brain injury was caused solely by her airbag.

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Product Liability/ Auto/Seat Back

Confidential Settlement - 11/21/06. Rothering v. DaimlerChrysler Corporation and Thomas Brown, In the Circuit Court for Baltimore County, Maryland. When the passenger's front seat in a 2004 Dodge Caravan collapsed in a rear impact, the passenger's head struck his two-year-old son's head, causing his son's death from a severe skull fracture and catastrophic brain injury. Plaintiffs had evidence that Chrysler had known for years that its seatbacks were failing in rear impacts, as shown in its own rear crash tests and from its notice of real world incidents where occupants located behind the minivan's seats were injured or killed when those seats failed in rear impacts.

The wreck occurred when the Rothering's minivan was rear ended by Thomas Brown's vehicle. Because Mr. Brown caused the wreck, plaintiffs also filed claims against him. At the defendants' request, the amount of the settlement is confidential.


Product Liability/ Auto/Seat Back

Confidential Settlement - 08/29/06. Neal v. DaimlerChrysler Corporation and William Charles Holloway, In the Circuit Court, Ninth Judicial Circuit, Orange County, Florida. When the driver's front seat in a 2000 Dodge Caravan collapsed in a rear impact, the driver's head struck his two-year-old daughter's head, causing a severe skull fracture and catastrophic brain injury. The child was properly restrained in an integrated child seat that DaimlerChrysler manufactured and permanently installed behind the driver's seat, a seat DaimlerChrysler contended it designed to collapse. Plaintiffs proved that Chrysler had known for years that its seatbacks were failing in rear impacts, as shown in its own rear crash tests on the seats, and from its notice of real-world incidents where occupants located in and behind the minivan's seats were injured or killed when those seats failed in rear impacts.

The wreck occurred when the Neal's minivan was rear ended by the T.D.T. Mack truck driven by William Holloway. Because these defendants caused the wreck, plaintiffs also filed claims against T.D.T., Inc. and William Holloway for hitting the Neal minivan. These defendants admitted liability prior to trial.

The case settled on the eve of trial. At the defendants' request, the amount of the settlement is confidential.


Product Liability/Fuel Tank/Trailer Hitch/Seatback/Door Design

$13,000,000 Verdict - 12/16/05. Gibson v. Ford Motor Co., Draw-Tite, Inc. and Burns, State Court of Athens-Clarke County, Georgia.

Autie Gibson sued Ford, Draw-Tite and Burns after Autie’s wife, Ann Marie Gibson, burned alive when her 1985 Ford Marquis was struck in the rear by the Burns vehicle. Mrs. Gibson’s Ford had a defective, "pinto-esque" bumper fuel tank located in the known rear crush zone. The bumper tank exploded when it was punctured by the sharp bolts on a defective, uncrashworthy Draw-Tite trailer hitch also on the Gibson vehicle and designed by Draw-Tite for that model. Mrs. Gibson’s Ford seatback was also defective. It failed by collapsing rearward in the crash, which dropped Mrs. Gibson’s head and upper torso into the flames initially located only in the back seat. The door system on the Ford was also defective: Mrs. Gibson’s doors were jammed shut, and could not be opened as a result of the impact. While rescuers at the scene attempted to un-jam the doors, Mrs. Gibson was trapped inside the burning car, screaming and frantically trying to extinguish the flames in her hair. According to the state crime lab autopsy, Mrs. Gibson died solely from the fire and smoke injuries she sustained while trapped in her burning car. The only injuries from the impact of the wreck itself were two bruises to her shins.

In a 4½ week trial, Plaintiffs proved Ford had known for years the dangers of the vulnerable fuel tank location and that both Ford and Draw-Tite knew the addition on this vehicle of a bumper trailer hitch with screws that could impact the tank in a crash made that design even more dangerous. Notwithstanding that knowledge, both Draw-Tite and Ford advertised this vehicle and hitch for towing and never warned a soul about the dangers.

The jury awarded $10 million for the full value of the life of Mrs. Gibson and $3 million for the pain and suffering from fire she experienced during the incident before her death. The verdict is believed to be the largest personal injury verdict in Athens-Clarke County history and the largest verdict against Ford in a fire case in Georgia.

Both Defendants Ford and Draw-Tite appealed the verdict. In a 7-0 opinion, the Georgia Supreme Court affirmed the verdict and judgment in its entirety. The judgment was then paid in full with interest.


Product Liability / Roof Crush
Confidential Settlement

Perry and Amanda Steiner brought suit against General Motors after they were involved in a rollover in their 1998 Pontiac Montana. During the rollover, the roof structure of the Montana crushed downward onto Perry and Amanda Steiner leaving both quadriplegics. Both were wearing their seatbelts and both were seated on the passenger side of the vehicle where the roof crushed. The other three family members were also belted and walked away from the wreck when the roof did not crush over their heads. Steiner v. General Motors Corp., United States District Court of Kansas (8/31/02).


Product Liability / Rollover/ Roof Crush Cash Settlement
Confidential Cash Settlement

Martha Stansell and her husband, Major Jackson Stansell, brought suit against Ford after they were involved in a rollover in a 1996 Ford Explorer. During the rollover, the roof structure of the Explorer crushed downward into the Stansells' occupant space, striking them and leaving Martha a quadriplegic (fracture at C-6, C-7) and Major a paraplegic (fracture at T-3). They were both wearing their seatbelts and were both on the passenger side of the Explorer where the roof crushed. On the driver's side of the Explorer where the roof did not crush, the two occupants suffered much less severe injuries from which they have fully recovered. Stansell v. Ford Motor Co ., Court of Common Pleas, Hampton County, South Carolina (4/15/02).


Product Liability / Auto / Post Collision Fire / Wrongful Death
Defective GM pickup with side-saddle fuel tank design.
Confidential Settlement

Sherry Bradstreet brought suit against General Motors on behalf of her sister and her sister's three sons after all were killed when the car they were traveling in became engulfed in flames due to punctures to the vulnerable side-mounted fuel tank in the C/K pickup truck that struck their vehicle.

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Product Liability / Seat Back Failure
Confidential Settlement

Mr. and Mrs. McCutchen brought suit against GM after she was involved in a rear-impact collision. The driver's seat of her 1990 Cadillac Sedan DeVille failed; she "ramped" underneath her seatbelt and into the back seat where she broke her back at T-11. Mrs. McCutchen, who was 74 years old at the time, was rendered a permanent paraplegic.

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Product Liability / GM Pickup / Post Collision Fire
Confidential Settlement

Defective GM pickup truck with side-saddle fuel tank design. Brian Chamberlain brought suit against GM after he was severely burned by fire when his Chevrolet pickup was struck by another pickup causing an explosion upon impact, due to punctures and failures of the vulnerable side-mounted tank and vulnerable filler neck of the Chevrolet pickup truck.

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Product Liability / Defective Tire / Wrongful Death
Confidential Settlement

Two people were killed and two injured when a defective tire failed, allowing a belt separation and causing the vehicle to go out of control and roll over.

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Product Liability / Seatback Failure
Defective driver's seat in 1996 Chrysler minivan
Confidential Settlement

The plaintiff, four-year-old Morgan Dize, was catastrophically brain damaged when her mother's seatback failed rearward, causing her mother's head to slam into Morgan's head when the family's minivan was hit from behind in a minor rear-impact, resulting in a change in velocity to the minivan of only 12 mph. No one in either vehicle had any injuries except Morgan, whose injuries resulted solely from the seatback failure.

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Product Liability / Seat Belt Failure / Wrongful Death
Defective seat belt in 1995 Isuzu Rodeo.
Cash Settlement

The decedent, Jana Ramirez, was literally severed in half at L-1 when her Takata seat belt failed to remain on her pelvis during a survivable rollover collision and instead sliced through her abdomen, which is incapable of supporting seat belt loading at accident levels.

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Product Liability / Auto / Post-Collision Fire
Cash Settlement

Defective 1997 Dodge Ram Van with a 35-gallon plastic fuel tank mounted approximately five inches from the rear bumper and hanging down into the impact zone below the rear bumper. Plaintiff, a 41-year-old woman, brought suit against Chrysler after she was severely burned when the Dodge Ram Van she was driving was rear-ended by another vehicle while the van was stopped at a highway construction site, causing explosion upon impact due to the failure of the vulnerable, bumper-mounted tank of the Dodge Van.

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Product Liability / Auto / Wrongful Death
Cash / Structured Settlement

Defective GM pickup truck with side-saddle fuel tank design. Alvin Phillips brought suit against GM on behalf of his daughter, Angela Byrd, his son-in-law, Darrell Byrd and his grandsons, Timothy and Samuel Byrd after Angela, Darrell and Timothy were killed and Samuel injured when the Chevrolet pickup truck they were traveling in became engulfed in flames due to punctures to the vulnerable side-mounted fuel tank in a collision with a tractor trailer.

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Product Liability / Auto / Wrongful Death
Cash Settlement

The widow of Mr. Bampoe-Parry brought suit after his 1985 Chevette was struck in the rear by a Volvo while trying to merge onto the interstate in Atlanta. The fuel system on the Chevette failed resulting in a post collision fuel-fed fire. Mr. Bampoe-Parry received burns and died as a result of his injuries.

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Product Liability / Auto / Wrongful Death
Type III Door Latch
Cash Settlement

The wrongful death beneficiaries and heirs brought suit against GM after Mr. Cooper was crushed between the vehicle and roadway when the 1985 Chevrolet S-10 pickup he was driving was hit, and the door-latching system failed and opened, partially ejecting Mr. Cooper. Cooper v. General Motors Corp ., Circuit Court of Hinds County, Mississippi, First Judicial Circuit (5/19/99).


Product Liability / Auto / Wrongful Death
Defective fuel system in a GM A-Car
Cash Settlement

Suit brought by the executor of the estate of Lottie E. Knott and by the personal representative of the estate of Mary A. Whaler after they died as a result of a post-collision fuel-fed fire in a 1979 Chevrolet El Camino which was struck in the rear by a 1978 Ford Fairmont. Hamil/Knott v. General Motors Corp; White/Whaler v. General Motors Corp ., United States District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma (5/5/99).


Product Liability / Auto / Door Latch Failure / Brain Damage

Bobo, 34 years old at the time of the incident, was catastrophically brain damaged and rendered in a persistent vegetative state when the door latch on her 1990 Mitsubishi Galant failed in a minor side-impact collision. The door opened, and the vehicle slid into a tree which intruded into the area of the now open door and hit the plaintiff in the head.

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Product Liability / Auto Rollover / Door Latch Failure / Seat Belt Failure / Wrongful Death
Cash Settlement

Michael McDaniel, 30 years old at the time of the incident, was killed when the Mitsubishi Montero in which he was riding rolled over, his Takata seat belt unlatched. The Mitsubishi door latch failed, the door opened, and Mr. McDaniel was ejected out the vehicle through the open door and crushed by the rolling vehicle.

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Product Liability / Auto / Wrongful Death
Type III Door Latch Defect
Cash Settlement

The mother of young children brought suit against GM after her daughter was killed and her son injured when the mother's Pontiac Grand Prix crashed, the Type III door latch failed, the door opened, and her children were ejected. Simmons v. General Motors Corp., United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, Jackson Division (8/17/98).


Product Liability / Auto Rollover / Paraplegia
Cash Settlement

Plaintiff Blair Wing, 23 years old at the time of the settlement, is a paraplegic who was paralyzed while riding as a passenger in a Suzuki Samurai that rolled over after hitting a patch of ice.

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Product Liability / Auto / Rollover / Brain Damage
Cash and Structured Settlement

Plaintiff Steven Ray, 25 years old at the time of the settlement, was brain damaged while riding in a Suzuki Samurai that rolled over after being struck at an intersection by a pickup truck driven by defendant Crawford.

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Product Liability / Auto / Wrongful Death
Defective GM pickup truck with side-saddle fuel tank design
Cash Settlement

Surviving spouse of 46-year-old man brought suit against GM after her husband was killed by fire when a Chevrolet pickup truck he was a passenger in collided with another pickup truck, causing explosion upon impact due to punctures to vulnerable side-mounted fuel tank of Chevrolet pickup truck. Peterson v. General Motors Corp ., United States District Court, District of Kansas (3/10/98).


Product Liability / Auto / Wrongful Death
Defective GM pickup truck with side-saddle fuel tank
Cash Settlement

Surviving spouse of 41-year-old woman brought suit against GM after his wife died from fire after they struck the side of a Chevrolet pickup truck with side-mounted fuel tanks, which were blocking the roadway, resulting in punctures to vulnerable side-mounted fuel tank of GM pickup truck. Barnes v. General Motors Corp., Court of Common Pleas, State of South Carolina, County of Richland (3/10/98).


Product Liability / Auto / Wrongful Death
Defective GM pickup truck with side-saddle fuel tank design.
Cash Settlement

Administratrix of the estate of Jeanette Douglas brought suit against GM after 67-year-old Jeanette Douglas died from fire after Chevrolet pickup truck she was a passenger in became engulfed in flames due to punctures to vulnerable side-mounted fuel tank of GM pickup truck in collision with another pickup truck. Douglas, et al. v. General Motors Corp., Second Judicial District Court of the State of Nevada, Washoe County (3/10/98).


Product Liability / Auto / Rollover / Paraplegia
Cash Settlement

A 19-year-old man was rendered paraplegic when the 1980 CJ-5 in which he was a belted passenger rolled over after striking a curb. Morgan v. Chrysler, et al., State Court of Fulton County, Georgia (3/9/98).


Product Liability / Auto / Quadriplegia
Cash Settlement

A 29-year-old woman was rendered quadriplegic in a rear-impact collision. The Chevrolet Camaro she was driving was struck by another vehicle, and upon impact, the front seat back in the Camaro failed and bent backwards. Ms. Woody ramped up the seat and struck the header at the rear of the vehicle. Medina B. Woody v. General Motors Corp. and Thomas R. Durrett, State Court of Fulton County, Georgia (11/19/97)


Product Liability / Auto / Wrongful Death
Cash Settlement

The decedent was driving her vehicle on the highway when she was rear-ended by a Ford pickup truck that lost control when its wheel came off. The impact pushed decedent into another vehicle and she sustained fatal injuries. The husband of decedent brought suit against the driver, the vehicle manufacturer and others for defective axle design and cotter pin. John Betton, Individually and as Administrator of the Estate of Barbara Hale Betton v. K&K Tire, Inc., Dana Corporation, Curb Specialists, Inc., and Ford Motor Co ., State Court of Fulton County, Georgia (11/13/97).


Product Liability / Auto
$ 1,250,000 Cash and Structured Settlement

After settling with Toyota and the van conversion company, our firm withdrew those claims on 8/17/97 and pursued remedies against the dealership that recommended to David Kimball's mother that the van be converted in a manner inconsistent with Toyota's own directives. Francis E. Teodoro, Guardian of David Kimball v. Century Toyota, Inc., Superior Court of New Haven, Connecticut ("Kimball II") (11/3/97).


Product Liability / Auto
$ 36,900,000 Settlement

Francis E. Teodoro, Guardian of David Kimball v. Century Toyota, Inc., Superior Court of New Haven, Connecticut ("Kimball II") (11/3/97).


Product Liability / Auto / Rollover / Quadriplegia
Confidential settlement following $36.9 and $90 million verdicts in separate cases

Kathryn Rodriguez, 32 years old at the time of this verdict, is a quadriplegic who was paralyzed while riding as a passenger in a Suzuki Samurai that rolled over on February 11, 1990.

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Product Liability / Auto / Wrongful Death
Cash Settlement

The parents of a 22-year-old man brought suit against Isuzu after their son died in his Isuzu pickup. Despite being belted, his head hit the defectively designed steering wheel hub as a result of the energy absorbing loop that Isuzu designed and engineered into his seat belt and a defectively designed hub cover that came off during the motor vehicle collision. Casey v. American Isuzu Motors, Inc. and Subaru-Isuzu Automotive, Inc., United States District Court, Middle District of Georgia (9/24/97).


Product Liability / Auto
Structured Settlement

The guardian of a 23-year-old young man brought suit against Toyota and a van conversion company in December 1990. Our law firm became involved in the case at the end of February, 1997 to pursue claims against Toyota for the defective design of the door latch, the B pillar and the side panel of the van and against the van conversion company for using wooden beams to replace the steel frame supports in the converted van. The victim, David Kimball, was severely brain-damaged and physically impaired when the converted van which he was driving, failed to protect him in a single-vehicle collision. Francis E. Teodoro, Guardian of David Kimball v. Toyota Motor Corp., Coventry Vans, Inc., et al., Superior Court of New Haven, Connecticut ("Kimball I") (6/23/97).


Product Liability / Auto / Wrongful Death
Type III Door Latch
Cash Settlement

The parents of a young man brought suit after their son was killed when his 1987 Pontiac Grand Am rolled over, the Type III door latch failed, the door opened, and he was ejected. Conkle v. General Motors Corp., State Court of Muscogee County, Georgia (4/28/97).


Product Liability/ Auto / Wrongful Death
Type III Door Latch
Cash Settlement

The surviving children of a young man brought suit against GM after their father was killed when his 1986 S-10 pickup truck rolled over, the Type III door latch failed, the door opened, and he was ejected and crushed by the vehicle. Roberts v. General Motors Corp ., State Court of Fulton County, Georgia (4/28/97).


Product Liability / Auto
Settlement - $1,000,000

A 14-year-old boy was traveling to a ski competition with his mother when their van hit a patch of ice and ran off the road into a tree. The impact on the driver's side caused the boy to be thrown across his mother and out the driver's side door. He suffered a severe brain injury and requires lifetime care. Plaintiff v. Unnamed Foreign Auto Manufacturer, Van Conversion Company and Auto Dealership, Superior Court, Judicial District of New Haven, Connecticut. (3/3/97)


Product Liability / Auto / Wrongful Death
Defective GM pickup truck with side-saddle fuel tank design
Cash Settlement

The surviving parent of a young man brought suit against GM after her son was killed by fire when his motorcycle had a side impact collision with a Chevrolet pickup truck. Randolph v. General Motors Corp., State Court of Fulton County, Georgia (8/21/96).


Product Liability / Auto / Wrongful Death
Defective GM pickup truck with side-saddle fuel tank design
Cash Settlement

The surviving wife and mother brought suit against GM after her husband and young son were killed by fire when the Chevrolet pickup in which they were riding was struck by a Ford Escort that crossed the center line of the roadway. Seebeck v. General Motors Corp., United States District Court, Northern District of Georgia (8/21/96).


Product Liability / Auto
$4,750,000 Cash and Structured Settlement (estimated payout)

A young pregnant woman was catastrophically burned, and her unborn baby died, when the vehicle in which she was riding burst into flames after a rear-impact collision. California Plaintiffs v. Unnamed Large Auto Company, Superior Court, County of Los Angeles, California (7/18/96)


Product Liability / Rollover / Paraplegia
$150,000,000 Verdict

Mr. Hardy was paralyzed from the chest down for life when the axle on his 1987 GM S-10 Blazer failed, causing the vehicle to roll over. In the rollover, the Type III door latch on the Blazer also failed, the door opened, and the latch failure allowed Mr. Hardy to be ejected out the open door and paralyzed when he landed outside the vehicle.

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Product Liability / Auto / Wrongful Death
Defective GM truck with side-saddle fuel tank design
Cash Settlement

The mother of a 22-year-old man brought suit when her son was killed by fire after his pickup impacted a bridge.

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Product Liability / Auto / Wrongful Death
Defective GM pickup truck with side-saddle fuel tank design
Cash Settlement

Shannon Moseley, was burned alive when his pickup truck was struck by a later model GM pickup and burst into flames.

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Product Liability / Auto / Wrongful Death
Defective GM pickup truck with side-saddle fuel tank design
Cash Settlement

The surviving parents of a young man brought suit against GM after their son was killed by fire when his motorcycle had an extremely low speed side impact with a GM pickup. Cockrum v. General Motors Corp., United States District Court for the District of Kansas (9/8/95).


Product Liability / Auto / Wrongful Death
Defective GM pickup truck with side-saddle fuel tank design.
Cash Settlement

The surviving wife brought suit against GM after her husband was killed by fire when the pickup in which he was riding was struck by a trailer that separated from another vehicle. Wilson v. General Motors Corp., United States District Court of Tulsa County, Oklahoma (9/8/95).


Product Liability / Auto / Rollover / Quadriplegia
Defective automobile
$90,000,000 Verdict

Kathryn Rodriguez, 30 years old at the time of this verdict, is a quadriplegic who was paralyzed while riding as a passenger in a Suzuki Samurai that rolled over on February 11, 1990.

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Product Liability / Auto

Defective GM pickup truck with side-saddle fuel tank design
Cash Settlement

Two brothers were burned, one very severely, after their GM truck burst into flames after impact with an automobile which had spun out of control and crossed into the Camerons' lane of travel on a Kansas highway.

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Product Liability / Auto
$44,466,100 Verdict

Delia Bibbs, a 38-year-old wife and mother of three, suffered head injuries, which left her in a coma when her seatbelt unlatched, and the passenger door flew open in her 1986 Toyota van after her van collided with a vehicle operated by defendant Tindell.

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Product Liability / Auto/ Wrongful Death
$2,050,000 Cash Settlement

Wrongful death action brought by the surviving adult children of a 53-year-old father and 53 year old mother who died when their automobile was involved in a post-collision fuel-fed fire after being struck in the rear by another automobile near Atlanta. Unnamed Plaintiffs v. Major Automobile Manufacturer, State Court of Fulton County, Georgia (8/94).


Product Liability / Auto
Cash Settlement

Defective GM pickup truck with side-saddle fuel tank design. Both parents of adult plaintiffs burned to death after impact with another vehicle when the fuel tank on their GM pickup ruptured and the vehicle burst into flames. Eyewitnesses attempted to help the victims escape but were driven back by the flames.

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Product Liability / Auto / Rollover
Defective Car
Cash Settlement

A 39-year-old police officer suffered permanent brain injury when his Samurai rolled over after an intersection collision.

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Product Liability / Auto / Rollover
Defective car
$3,000,000 Cash Settlement

16-year-old Monica Guinn was killed when the 1987 Suzuki Samurai in which she was a passenger collided with a Jeep Wrangler, tripped and rolled over.

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Product Liability / Auto
$5,250,000 Cash Settlement

Paralysis and other injuries to 37-year-old man caused by defective door latch and rollover defect threw him from his vehicle during single vehicle accident, with resulting injuries. Victim v. Automobile Manufacturer, United States District Court, Southern District of Georgia. ( 5/14/93)


Product Liability / Auto
$105,241,612.84 Verdict (includes $101,000,000 punitive damages verdict)

17-year-old Shannon Moseley burned alive following a side impact collision due to defective fuel system in GM pickup truck with 'side-saddle' fuel tanks.

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Product Liability / Auto
Cash Settlement (Jurors confirmed that verdict actually reached was $2.75 million)

Case settled at defendants' insistence for confidential sum after the jury reached a verdict but before verdict was announced. A-pillar/header assembly on 280ZX with T-top collapsed into driver's face after T-top panel latch failed and panel flew out following side impact by pickup truck. Willis v. Nissan Motor Co., Ltd ., United States District Court, Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division (10/6/92).


Product Liability / Auto
$2,000,000 Verdict

Sliding floor mats impinged upon brake and accelerator pedals defectively designed to be too close together, preventing driver from stopping car as she exited interstate highway. Car slid under trailer of tractor trailer unit. Two plaintiffs suffered broken bones and severe soft tissue injuries. Patty & Neal v. Toyota Motor Corporation, United States District Court, Northern District of Georgia, Rome Division (9/10/92).


Product Liability / Auto / Wrongful Death
$5,000,000 Cash Settlement

Wrongful death of 68-year-old man caused by defective door latch which failed resulting in occupant ejection during intersection collision. Surviving Widow v. Major Automobile Manufacturer, et al., State Court of Fulton County, Georgia (2/24/92).


Product Liability / Auto / Wrongful Death
$4,500,000 Cash Settlement

Wrongful death of 67-year-old woman; severe injuries to her daughter caused by car rollover and door latch defects. Three Plaintiffs v. Major Automobile Manufacturer, et al., Superior Court of ___County, Georgia (4/29/91).

At Butler Wooten & Peak LLP, we have the resources and experience it takes to successfully pursue complex personal injury, wrongful death and product liability litigation. Contact us today. We would be happy to discuss your case with you.