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PRACTICES & INDUSTRIES

While our firm is best known for defending automobile manufacturers, our lawyers counsel an array of Global 500 and internationally-based clients in high-stakes, national litigation in a range of industries.

Motor Vehicles

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It is not enough for a law firm to know the law of automotive product liability. It must know the product itself, the business and the people of the company that makes it, and the industry in which it is sold. At Bowman and Brooke, we take pride in knowing all those in order to give motor vehicle and component manufacturers the defense that they deserve, where and when they need it.

From first beginnings and a primary focus defending some of the country's earliest automotive product liability cases, such as Larsen v. General Motors Corp., 391 F.2d 495 (1965), followed by a number of widely publicized trial verdicts, to today's ranking as a top U.S. product liability law firm by both The Legal 500 and Law360, our reputation continues to accelerate.  In fact, Chambers USA 2015 noted that Bowman and Brooke is known for an "[i]mpressive trial bench with broad capabilities in the automobile space, representing major clients in bet-the-company litigation."

CASE RESULTS DEPEND UPON A VARIETY OF FACTORS UNIQUE TO EACH CASE. CASE RESULTS DO NOT GUARANTEE OR PREDICT A SIMILAR RESULT IN ANY FUTURE CASE.
  • Feb 28, 2017
    Sacramento, CA

    In a nine-day California lemon law jury trial involving allegations that a used 2011 Hyundai Elantra was not properly diagnosed and repaired under warranty, the jury was hung 7 to 5 in defendant’s favor, on the question whether the subject vehicle had a defect which substantially impaired its use, value or safety. The case is titled Connie Marie Romero v. Hyundai Motor America, Sacramento County Superior Court Case No. 34-2015-00178728-CU-BC-GDS.  A mistrial was declared after 4 hours of deliberations. Hyundai was represented by Julian G. Senior of Bowman and Brooke LLP from its Los Angeles office and Zhanna Bulkina, Corporate Counsel for Hyundai Motor America. 

  • Feb 28, 2017
    San Diego County, CA

    In a California Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act (lemon law) trial involving allegations that a new 2009 Hyundai Sonata was not repaired under warranty, the jury decided 11-1 in favor of Hyundai Motor America that the subject vehicle did not have any defects that substantially impaired its use, value, or safety. The case is titled Elaine C. Bierman, et al. v. Hyundai Motor America, San Diego County Superior Court Case No. 37-2015-00034603-CU-BC-CTL. Judge John S. Meyer presided over the trial. After five days, the jury reached its defense verdict in approximately half an hour.

  • Aug 25, 2016
    St. Lucie County, FL
    A unanimous defense verdict was returned by a Florida jury in favor of Takata Corp., TK Holdings, Inc., and Michelin North America Inc. on Wednesday, August 24, 2016 after a two-month, $80M trial involving allegations of tire and seat belt defects.
  • Jun 22, 2016
    Los Angeles, CA
    In a California lemon law trial involving allegations that a 2015 Hyundai Genesis wasn't properly diagnosed and repaired under warranty, Hyundai Motor America received a defense verdict from a downtown Los Angeles jury on Wednesday, June 22, 2016. The case is titled Steven Keefer and Patricia Ann Nelson Keefer v. Hyundai Motor America, Los Angeles County Superior Court Case No. BC580805. The defense verdict came after 7 days of jury trial and 2 hours of deliberations. The jury voted 10-2 that there was no substantially impairing defect and 12-0 that there was no breach of implied warranty.
  • Apr 08, 2016
    St. Louis, MO
    On April 08, 2016, a Missouri federal jury ruled in favor of the defense, finding that a 2004 GMC Savana, which was involved in a rollover crash that left the driver quadriplegic, did not bear a roof or seat belt defect. In Roberts v. General Motors LLC, the plaintiff sought $10 million in damages, claiming the roof of the vehicle was "unreasonably dangerous" because it should have been designed to withstand impacts from such rollover accidents, and that the seat belt system should have kept the plaintiff in place during the accident. The jury found no defect or negligence on the part of General Motors. 
  • January 4, 2017
    Articles

    Once again demonstrating his authority on all things autonomous, Detroit Managing Partner Thomas Branigan participated in a Detroit Legal News interview on the legal implications of self-driving cars. Tom, along with input from Detroit Associate John Black, provide perceptive predictions regarding the future of litigation as it pertains to this new and fast-moving technology. 

  • January 3, 2016
    Articles

    In a Law360 article discussing "Product Liability Regulation and Legislation to Watch in 2017," Detroit Managing Partner Thomas Branigan commented on recent NHTSA action surrounding self-driving cars and what to expect entering the new year. “Given the guidance, I’m expecting heavy activity from NHTSA on those issues in 2017,” Tom said to Law360.

  • December 21, 2016
    Legal Alert

    Last week, NHTSA issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication technology, which follows the release of the much anticipated Federal Automated Vehicles Policy, and its Cybersecurity Best Practices for Modern Vehicles. These three documents in conjunction present the future of automotive safety regulation in the United States. 

    NHTSA has made its position clear—connected, secure vehicles with automated driving technologies are the future of improved automotive safety. The following presents a high-level overview of the V2V NPRM, and an initial analysis on what the future of automotive safety regulation means for OEM liability.

  • October 26, 2016
    Legal Alert
    Just a month after releasing its long-awaited Federal Automated Vehicles Policy, on Monday NHTSA followed up with "Cybersecurity Best Practices for Modern Vehicles." While these Best Practices are similarly non-binding/de facto standards, they set forth NHTSA's present plans to regulate and monitor vehicle cybersecurity and data integrity.
  • November 13, 2015
    Seminars

    Robert Wise, Co-Managing Partner in the Richmond office, presents on the latest and growing trends in automotive class actions at the Defense Research Institute's Strictly Automotive Seminar on November 13, 2015.

Integrated Services

In addition to providing stellar legal counsel, we integrate our provision of other key services with the work of our legal teams. The result? Highly effective and efficient client service.

Law360 Product Liability Group of the Year

Bowman and Brooke was recognized for the seventh time as a Law360 Product Liability Practice Group of the Year for its "versatility" and "long-established reputation as a defense leader."  

The Legal 500

Citing us as "litigation heavyweights,"The Legal 500 ranks Bowman and Brooke as a top-tier firm in Automotive/Transport and a recommended firm in Medical Device and Pharmaceutical as well as Consumer Products.