Courtroom View Network ranked our win in Call/Crawford v. Subaru as one of the top defense wins of 2017. http://blog.cvn.com/cvn-top-10-most-impressive-defense-verdicts-of-2017 The families of two teenagers alleged that there was a flaw in an engine that caused a post-collision fire. A Charleston, WV jury took just 3 hours to conclude that there was no defect and that the fire was caused by the off-the-charts severity of the crash.
Following a big trial victory in West Virginia, a Spencer Shuford team pressured a pair of plaintiffs into dropping their defective airbag case, bringing home the firm’s second win in two days.
The plaintiffs maintained that their airbag should have deployed in a frontal crash with a Geo Tracker. The Tracker was hit broadside and tipped over. Our analysis showed that the crash pulse was in the grey zone between the no-fire and must-fire thresholds. A low delta-v and a long pulse combined to prevent the airbag from deploying. After months of bluster and threats, the plaintiffs finally accepted that the defense was not going to back down. Following the advice of the great sage Kenny Rogers, they knew when to walk away.
The firm won a hotly contested product liability trial before a Kanawha County (Charleston), West Virginia jury on February 2. A local mother was driving her teenaged daughter and a friend to school when they were hit head on by another driver who was on the wrong side of the road. Their vehicle was knocked backward and off the road where it came to rest nose down 40 degrees. A fire erupted, killing the back seat passenger, who was unable to get out of the car. Her estate brought a wrongful death and survival action, as did the estate of the front seat passenger, which alleged that she, too, had burned to death in the fire.
At trial, the plaintiffs alleged that a key fuel line was routed so as to put it at risk of breach in a collision. The defense contended that the fire was started by hot, oily fluids that flowed onto hot exhaust system elements after the transmission and oil coolers were ripped from the engine. After nine days of evidence and deliberations, the jury took just under 3 1/2 hours to find in favor of the defense.
During the trial, we wrangled a half-vehicle buck into the courtroom and had the company witness use it to take the jury under the hood and explain the fuel line routing.