Brown v. Defendant Automobile Manufacturer

  • Illinois Appellate Court, First District, 714 N.E.2d 556 (Ill App. 1st Dist.), leave denied, 720 N.E.2d 1089 (1999)05/01/1999
    Client: Defendant Automobile Manufacturer
    Outcome: Defense Verdict; Defense Verdict Affirmed on Appeal

Synopsis:

DBMS represented a defendant automobile manufacturer in the first trial, in which four family members died due to fire-related injuries and the surviving mother received multiple orthopedic injuries and burns over 30% of her body when the vehicle in which they were traveling collided with an abutment and caught fire.

Plaintiff contended the vehicle was defective due to use of plastic fuel lines, which were severed in the collision, and for lack of check valves which would have prevented siphoning of gasoline.

Plaintiff sought in excess of $175 million in compensatory damages.

The jury returned a defense verdict. The Court entered a directed verdict in favor of the defense on punitive damages claims.

DBMS also represented the defendant on appeal, in which the appellate court affirmed the verdict for the defense, holding that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in excluding evidence of subsequent remedial measures or in admitting testimony from an accident reconstructionist and a videotape depicting a reconstruction of the accident.

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