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9th Circuit Court Affirms Defense Verdict in Brownfield v. Jaguar

Pasadena, CA
Oct 10, 2014

Brownfield v. Jaguar

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.

On October 10, 2014, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a defense verdict in favor of Jaguar following a jury trial involving alleged electrical issues with a 2007 Jaguar XK. In the original trial, Brownfield v. Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC, the jury unanimously ruled that Jaguar was not in violation of the California Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act.

The case turned on whether Jaguar was given a reasonable number of repair attempts. During the trial, one of the standard California jury instructions, CACI 3202, entitled "Repair Opportunities Explained," was modified by adding an additional paragraph that said in part, "for Plaintiff to be entitled to relief for any particular problem with her Jaguar, she must show she brought the car into Jaguar for the repair of that particular problem on more than one occasion."

The plaintiff appealed, contending that the modified jury instruction created an additional element that the plaintiff had to prove–that each particular problem had to be brought in for repair on more than one occasion. The plaintiff claimed there was a global electrical problem with her vehicle, which Jaguar disputed, and that the modified instruction (with the word "particular problem") precluded the jury from considering some of the repair attempts.

In an unpublished memorandum, the Ninth Circuit rejected the plaintiff's contentions, finding that California Song-Beverly cases use the terms "problems" and "defects" interchangeably. 

Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC was represented by Rick Stuhlbarg.

View the full memorandum here. 

Trial Team

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