With last week's defense verdict in Warren County, Ohio, jurors have now returned six defense verdicts vindicating Yamaha and the Rhino off-road vehicle. Estate of Ellen Sand, c/o John C. Sand, Administrator, John Sand and Tammie Sand vs.. Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A, Yamaha Motor Manufacturing Corporation of America, Clinton County Motor Sports, and Let It Gro, LLC, Warren County Court of Common Pleas for the State of Ohio, Case No. 10CV76399, Judge James L. Flannery presiding; verdict March 21, 2011.
Yamaha's string of defense verdicts, and especially this latest defense victory in what the trial judge called "the biggest civil case in the history of Warren County", have attracted widespread praise for Yamaha's success in "fighting back" against one of the plaintiff bars' latest attacks on product manufacturers. "All-Terrain Victories: Yamaha takes on the tort bar -- and wins", Wall Street Journal, Saturday March 26, 2011.
Acknowledging that plaintiff lawyers "pounced" on Yamaha with law suits and "deluged" the Consumer Product Safety Committee with complaints, the WSJ hailed Yamaha's decision to fight back and for setting an example for how "a belief in one's product is a companies best defense." The WSJ noted that, after 6 defense verdicts including high profile victories in California and Ohio, "plaintiffs attorneys have begun to withdraw many of their suits" and that "more companies would benefit from fighting back."
Paul Cereghini, Yamaha's lead trial counsel and a partner in the national product liability defense firm of Bowman and Brooke, commented:
"Yamaha has aggressively defended the Rhino and proven that it can and will win these cases. The Rhino is a well-designed, well-built and safe off-road vehicle. Jurors in these cases easily recognize when aggressive driving and failure to use safety gear results in an off-road vehicle crash and an otherwise preventable incident. Yamaha's defense of the Rhino sets a great example for other companies who find themselves under a coordinated media, internet and court attack by plaintiffs' lawyers."
Mr.. Cereghini represents Yamaha nationally and was Yamaha's lead trial counsel in both the "bellwether" California trial and the recent Warren County, Ohio, trial cited by the WSJ as examples that "Yamaha takes on the tort bar -- and wins."