Transportation Industry

Experience

Personal Injury/Product Liability

We represented a major motorcycle manufacturer in a personal injury product liability case in Montgomery County, Ohio. After conducting some preliminary discovery, and after arranging for an inspection of the product by expert witnesses, we were able to persuade the Plaintiff’s counsel to voluntarily dismiss the litigation.

Product Liability Lawsuit Involving a Side-by-Side Utility Vehicle

Employee was injured on the job while riding a side-by-side utility vehicle and received substantial worker’s compensation benefits. Worker’s compensation carrier brought subrogation/product liability lawsuit against Recreational Vehicle Manufacturer. Summary judgment was granted in favor of manufacturer on statute of limitations grounds as well as lack of privity between the employee and the manufacturer. Affirmed on appeal.

Product Liability Matter Involving Fireplace Glass Front

Defense of Hearth and Grill Manufacturer in product liability lawsuit. Plaintiff’s minor son was injured when he came in contact with the hot glass front of a fireplace. The fireplace was manufactured and sold by a company that had gone bankrupt before the lawsuit was filed. Plaintiff sought to impose liability on Hearth and Grill Manufacturer because it had purchased certain assets of the bankrupt company even though those assets did not include the fireplace in question. Summary judgment granted in favor of Hearth and Grill Manufacturer on the ground that the asset purchase agreement precluded liability for products manufactured and sold by the bankrupt company prior to the asset purchase agreement.

Product Liability Lawsuit Involving Allegations of Airbag Non-Deployment

Defense of Automobile Manufacturer against airbag non-deployment allegation involving serious injuries. Daubert motion lead to exclusion of the plaintiff’s liability expert, which laid the groundwork for a successful summary judgment motion.

Personal Injury Lawsuit Involving Railroad Employee

Plaintiff injured his back when he fell while carrying a 75-pound knuckle over railroad tracks, a task that fell within his job description. Summary judgment was granted in favor of Railroad Company on the grounds that plaintiff failed to provide expert testimony that the Railroad Company’s standards or practices were outside accepted railroad practices. Affirmed on appeal.

Allegations of Premises Liability

Minor plaintiff was injured after he fell from a railroad trestle adjacent to his home. Summary judgment was granted in favor of Railroad Company on the grounds that plaintiff was a trespasser to whom Railroad Company owned no duty to keep its premises safe for use.

Allegations of Unsafe Workplace

Defense verdict for Railroad Company in FELA case involving allegation of carpal tunnel syndrome caused by unsafe workplace. Defense verdict affirmed on appeal.

Allegations of a Defective Vehicle

We represented an international motor vehicle manufacturer in a case that was pending in Warren County, Ohio. The case involved allegations that the vehicle had a significant pulling or drifting condition. Following a trial, we obtained a defense verdict on behalf of our client.

Allegations of Unintended Acceleration

Dinsmore represented a major motor vehicle manufacturer in cases filed in Ohio associated with allegations of sudden unintended acceleration. We removed the cases to federal court and were involved in successfully litigating the matters as part of the multi-district litigation procedure.

Automobile Class Action Litigation

Dinsmore & Shohl represented a large automobile distributor in class action litigation initiated in Ohio and Kentucky, alleging the automobiles distributed by our client that were subject of a nationwide recall, unintentionally accelerated or were prone to such an alleged defect. The class action plaintiffs alleged a variety of claims, including fraud, breaches of express and implied warranties, negligence, and violations of consumer protection statutes. Plaintiffs also sought compensatory relief in the form of diminished value of the subject vehicles or injunctive relief. Dinsmore & Shohl either successfully removed all such actions to federal court, where they were consolidated in multi-district litigation, or obtained a dismissal of the entire suit.

Breach of Warranty

We represented an international motor vehicle distributor in a breach of warranty case that was tried in Gadsden, Alabama. After prevailing during the trial, we were able to reach a settlement agreement with the plaintiff to resolve the case for a nominal amount of money.

Breach of Warranty Allegations in Connection with Vehicle Condition

We served as counsel for a major motor vehicle manufacturer/distributor in a breach of warranty/consumer sales practices case that was tried to a jury in January of 2013 in Beaufort County, North Carolina. The case involved allegations of alleged fading or discoloration on multiple components on the exterior and interior of the vehicle. The jury unanimously returned a defense verdict in favor of our client.

Breach of Warranty Dispute Involving a Vehicle

We represented an international automobile manufacturer in a breach of warranty/consumer sales practices act case that was litigated in Franklin County, Ohio. The case involved a multitude of alleged defects and non-conformities with the vehicle’s warranty. We argued that the conditions did not substantially impair the use, value, or safety of the vehicle. Following the conclusion of a trial we obtained a defense verdict on behalf of our client.

Breach of Warranty/Lemon Law Case

We represented a major motorcycle manufacturer in a breach of warranty/lemon law case in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The case involved allegations of a purportedly defective chain on the motorcycle, which the Plaintiff contended interfered with the motorcycle’s ability to operate properly. We argued that the condition was not a defect in workmanship or materials covered by our client’s applicable warranties. Following a three-day trial, the jury returned a unanimous defense verdict in our client’s favor on all claims.

Car Fire Case Involving a Repair Facility

We represented an international motor vehicle manufacturer in a car fire case in Lawrence County, Ohio. We contended that the fire could have been avoided through effective investigation by a repair facility that serviced the vehicle shortly before the fire. Accordingly, we asserted a cross-claim against the repair facility seeking contribution. Following the completion of a trial, the jury returned a verdict in our client’s favor on the cross-claim, awarding our client contribution damages. The repair facility appealed the decision to the court of appeals, and the court of appeals affirmed the jury’s verdict.

Commercial Litigation Involving Software Supplier to a Vehicle Distributor

We represented an international motor vehicle distributor in a commercial litigation dispute with one of its software suppliers. We successfully defended the company in AAA arbitration proceedings in Des Moines, Iowa, resulting in a favorable resolution for our client.

Federal Criminal Indictment

Consulted with and provided legal advice to a Fortune Global 50 company regarding alleged white collar criminal issues involving the Global 50 company's United States subsidiary.

Fraud and Lemon Laundering

We represented a major international motor vehicle distributor in a fraud and “lemon laundering” case filed in Clark County, Ohio. The Plaintiff alleged that our client had improperly sold a repurchased vehicle in Ohio in violation of Ohio’s Consumer Sales Practices Act. Through effective motion practice, particularly successfully presenting a number of motions in limine, we were able to negotiate a very favorable settlement for our client on the first day of trial.

Lemon Law Case Relating to Vehicle Repairs

We represented an international automobile distributor in a lemon law case that was tried in Chicago, Illinois. The case involved a variety of alleged non-conformities with the vehicle, which the Plaintiff contended had not been repaired within a reasonable number of repair attempts. We obtained a defense verdict on behalf of our client.

Lemon Law/Breach of Warranty

We represented an international motor vehicle distributor in a lemon law/breach of warranty case that was tried to a jury in Lake County, Ohio. The Plaintiff sought compensatory and treble damages close to $100,000, plus attorney fees. The jury returned a defense verdict on all but one of the claims for our client, and the remaining claim resulted in a verdict for the Plaintiff of only $600. We also successfully opposed the Plaintiff’s efforts to recover attorney fees, with the court awarding the Plaintiff’s counsel less than 10% of the fees sought.

Lemon Law/Breach of Warranty Case Related To Vehicle Design

We represented an international motor vehicle distributor in a lemon law/breach of warranty case in the Stark County, Ohio Court of Common Pleas. We argued that the alleged non-conformity with the vehicle was based upon the design of the vehicle, and, accordingly, was not covered by the terms of our client’s applicable warranties. The trial court granted our Motion for Summary Judgment and dismissed the case. The court of appeals affirmed the decision.

Personal Injury

We defended a large transportation company in a serious brain injury case that was tried in federal court. The plaintiff claimed that one of our clients’ trucks crossed the center line of a road and caused an accident. We obtained witness testimony to discount the claims, and obtained a unanimous defense verdict. The jury verdict was upheld upon appeal.

Personal Injury Allegations

We defended an international automobile manufacturer against allegations of personal injury resulting from a defective product. The plaintiffs alleged that a door handle on a vehicle manufactured by our client was defective and it malfunctioned, causing an injury. The plaintiffs neglected to secure testimony from an expert witness regarding the vehicle’s design, manufacture or maintenance, and we filed a motion for summary judgment in federal court, claiming that the plaintiffs could not prove an identifiable defect in the product. The court granted summary judgment to our client, stating that “plaintiffs cannot establish a design or manufacturing defect without expert testimony.” The plaintiffs’ claims were dismissed with prejudice.

Personal Injury Case Related to a Vehicle Seatbelt

We represented a major automobile manufacturer in a personal injury product liability lawsuit. The Plaintiff alleged that her seatbelt failed to restrain her during an accident, and she contended that she suffered severe head injuries resulting in alleged cognitive impairment. By effective presentation of our expert witnesses, and through extensive discovery, we were able to negotiate favorable settlement terms to resolve the litigation.

Plaintiff v. Railroad

Fifteen trials defending railroad in Federal Employers Liability Act lawsuits for multiple allegations including occupational hearing loss and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome claims. Five recent trials and defense verdicts including a serious railroad truck-auto motor vehicle accident lawsuit.

Product Defect Case Involving Marine Products

We represented an international motor vehicle manufacturer in a product defect case in Atlantic City, New Jersey involving allegedly defective marine products. Following the conclusion of a trial, the jury returned a verdict awarding the Plaintiff only nominal damages.

Product Liability Case Involving Vehicle Airbag

We represented an international motor vehicle manufacturer in a product liability personal injury action in Ohio. The Plaintiff asserted that the vehicle’s airbag system failed to deploy, and further asserted this alleged defect resulted in enhanced injuries arising from an automobile accident. By effectively developing persuasive expert witness testimony, we were able to reach a favorable settlement through a mediation session.

Product Liability Case Relating a Vehicle Fire

We presented a major automobile manufacturer in a product liability case in Hamilton County, Ohio arising out of a car fire. At the conclusion of the Plaintiff’s case-in-chief, the court granted our Motion for a Directed Verdict and dismissed all of the Plaintiff’s claims.

Product Liability Defense

We defended a large national car and truck manufacturer in a product liability claim that the medium duty truck had a defective steering component which allegedly caused a single vehicle accident resulting in the death of the driver. We obtained a unanimous defense verdict in federal court in Western Kentucky.

Seatbelt Defense

We represented a large automobile manufacturer in a case relating to a vehicle accident. The driver was struck by another vehicle and ejected, ending up in a coma before ultimately passing away. Plaintiffs alleged that vehicle defects contributed to the driver’s demise. We became the first Kentucky case in which an auto manufacturer was allowed to use the seatbelt defense in a product liability crash worthiness claim, proving to the trial judge that a seat belt would have significantly reduced the victim’s risks. The jury eventually handed down a defense verdict, finding that the vehicle was not defective.