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While our firm is best known for defending automobile manufacturers, our lawyers counsel an array of Global 500 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."

  • Mar 01, 2020
    Riverside, CA

    In a California trial involving allegations that a 2014 Ford Focus was a lemon and that Ford Motor Company concealed material facts from plaintiffs, Riverside County Superior Court Judge Carolyn Greene entered an Order on September 24, 2020 awarding Ford $97,186.27 in costs from plaintiffs.  Much of the costs awarded were expert and travel costs.   The Court ruled that Ford was entitled to recover its outside expert fees because plaintiffs had declined a CCP 998 Offer from Ford.  The case is titled Leonila V. Ambriz and Erick Ambriz v. Ford Motor Company, Riverside County Superior Court Case No. RIC1612390.  A defense verdict had been rendered on March 11, 2020 after 10 days of trial and 1 hour and 15 minutes of deliberations.    

  • Jan 23, 2020
    Pontiac, MI
    As a national product liability firm to Ford Motor Company, Bowman and Brooke served as Lead Trial Counsel in Kokeny v. Ford. Following two weeks of trial, an Oakland County Circuit Court jury returned a unanimous defense verdict – no cause on January 23, 2020, in this alleged design and manufacturing defect case.
  • Nov 25, 2019
    Los Angeles, CA
    After a four-week trial and nearly a week of deliberations, a civil jury in downtown Los Angeles returned a complete defense verdict for American Honda Motor Co., Inc., in a $160 million all-terrain vehicle product liability case. Chelsea Rush et al. v. American Honda Motor Co., Inc., et al., Los Angeles County Superior Court, Case No. BC658021, the Honorable Victor E. Chavez presiding.
  • Apr 04, 2019
    Affirming defense verdict after a 9-week trial related to a single vehicle roll over accident involving allegations of a defective tire and seat belt.  
  • Jan 22, 2019
    Affirming defense verdict in an automotive product liability action involving issues related to admissibility of expert witness fees and application of the business record exception to company documents.
  • June 17, 2024

    For the 17th year in a row, Bowman and Brooke has achieved national rankings in The Legal 500. The firm is named to all four Product Liability Defense categories—Automotive, Consumer, Pharmaceutical/Medical Device and Toxic Tort. Additionally, many individual attorneys are recognized.

  • June 13, 2024

    Bowman and Brooke continues to be recognized by Chambers USA as an “Elite” firm in the Nationwide Product Liability & Mass Tort category. The publication notes, “Bowman and Brooke know our business well. They deliver good results, have the expertise and are highly experienced. The team are at the top of the list for product liability.” The firm is ranked in Band 4 in the category.

  • May 13, 2024
    Legal Alert

    On May 9, 2024, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced the adoption of a Final Rule (new FMVSS 127) requiring forward collision warning (FCW) and automatic emergency braking (AEB), including pedestrian AEB (PAEB), systems on light vehicles.  NHTSA explains, “[t]his final rule specifies that an AEB system must detect and react to an imminent crash with both a lead vehicle or a pedestrian.” This is the first substantive Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) standard for advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and sets forth very aggressive performance standards for AEB systems on new light passenger vehicles sold on or after September 1, 2029. 

  • June 16, 2023

    On May 31, 2023, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) which would require automatic emergency braking (AEB) and pedestrian automatic emergency braking (PAEB) on new passenger vehicles and light trucks (a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or less). AEB and PAEB are advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) that can automatically engage a vehicle’s brakes when the vehicle determines certain frontal collisions are imminent. 

  • November 13, 2015

    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.