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RIVERSIDE, CALIFORNIA - On Friday, October 12, a Riverside, California Superior Court jury rendered a unanimous defense verdict in favor of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. and Nissan North America, Inc. in a case involving a two vehicle crash allegedly caused by a defective crankshaft position sensor.
On February 24, 2007, Plaintiff Mario Godoy's 2005 Nissan Altima went out of control on a two lane highway and crashed head-on to a Ford Escape with plaintiff Sarah Johnson in the front seat. Both plaintiffs suffered extensive injuries in the severe crash. Nine months post-crash Godoy received a recall notice from Nissan for a potential stalling risk associated with the sensor. Plaintiffs sued alleging that the crash had been caused by an engine stall due to the defective sensor. Nissan contended the crash was due to excessive speed, that the sensor did not have the recall condition, and that no sensor failure caused the crash. Plaintiffs called Steven Bellino as to accident reconstruction and crash causation, and mechanical engineer Phil Van Herle as to sensor design and performance. Nissan called Dr. Nicholas Durisek for reconstruction and Dr. Jan Swart for sensor performance. After a four week trial, the jury rejected the claim that the sensor caused the crash.
Nissan was represented by Mark V. Berry, Douglas J. Lief and Kurt W. Beyerchen, Jr. of Bowman and Brooke LLP.
Plaintiffs were represented by Todd Rash of the Law Offices of Todd Rash and Douglas A. Scott of Hanna & Scott.
Sarah Johnson, et al vs Nissan North America, Inc., et al, Riverside Superior Court no. RIC519788, Judge Gloria Connor Trask.