Automotive Case Results

Mauro v. Ford Motor Company Verdict: $73 million

A Sacramento jury found Ford Motor Company responsible to the victims of a rollover crash involving a Ford E350 15 passenger van that experienced a tread separation. The jury found that the 15 passenger vans were dangerously defective and susceptible to loss of control from a tread separation. The jury also determined that Ford had information from its tire supplier, Goodyear, about defective tires that had been installed on the vans, but failed to provide information to owners of the 15 Passenger Vans that the defective Goodyear tires needed to be replaced. The jury’s award included $50 million in punitive damages in addition to $23 million in compensatory damages to the victims of the crash. Greene, Broillet & Wheeler partner Christine Spagnoli represented the family of driver Bill Brownell and injured passenger Alex Bessonov. Sacramento attorney Roger Dreyer, of the Dreyer, Babich, Buccola and Wood firm represented Tony Mauro’s widow, Susan Mauro and their children Cody and Michael Mauro.

Sein v. Aston Martin Lagonda Confidential Settlement

Wrongful death claim on behalf of the widow and three children of Dr. Michael Sein, an Orange County anesthesiologist, who died as a result of manufacturing and design defects in the driver’s seat of his 2004 Aston Martin DB9. After the DB9 was rear-ended, the driver’s seat collapsed causing fatal head injuries when Dr. Sein was thrown backward and struck his head.

Anderson v. General Motors Verdict: $4.9 billion

Christine Spagnoli was an integral member of the trial team in the action against General Motors for defective fuel system that led to burn injuries to four children and two adults. This is amongst the largest products liability verdicts in American judicial history.

Gutierrez v. Isuzu Verdict: $5.3 million

Isuzu Rodeo rollover resulted in seatbelted passenger suffering lower left leg amputation and head injury. Automotive design defect and negligent testing attributed to causing accident.

Balcik v. Isuzu Confidential Settlement

Nurse practitioner suffered severe disfiguring burns after her Isuzu Trooper caught fire when she was rear- ended on the freeway. The gas tank on the Isuzu Trooper was placed in a vulnerable location behind the rear axle without adequate protection in a crash.

Colmanares v. Doe Corporation Settlement: $2.5 million

Wrongful death of two minor children, ages 13 and 15, burned to death in a pick up truck which burst into flames as the result of a defectively designed filler neck and gas cap.

Linares v. General Motors Verdict: $2.5 million

GM found negligent of failure to warn after plaintiff, a furniture mover, suffered severe burns when his supervisor attempted to re-start the vehicle by priming the carburetor with gasoline.

Luu v. Doe Corporation Settlement: $2 million

Action against automaker for defective filler neck system and inadequate welds of unibody frame resulting in severe burn injuries to occupant.

Rapan v. Dorel Juvenile Group, Cosco and Daimler Chrysler Confidential Settlement

Settlement obtained on behalf of a child who suffered a devastating spinal cord injury. Two-and-a-half-year-old Isaiah Rapan was injured in a crash while secured in a Cosco Grand Explorer shield booster seat in the rear seat of his parent’s Jeep Cherokee. GB&W attorneys established that the booster seat and the Jeep car seat were poorly designed and caused Isaiah’s injuries.

Niley v. General Motors Confidential Settlement

Jessica Niley, a 22-year-old college student, was hit in the face by an air bag in a GM vehicle. The force of the air bag caused debilitating brain injuries that left Jessica in a permanent vegetative state.

Doe Individual v. Doe Corporation Confidential Settlement

Industrial accident involving a brake failure on a loader causing orthopedic injuries to the victim.

Anchetta v.Ford Confidential Settlement

Representing a family that rented a 15-passenger van for a cross-country trip to attend a family gathering. One of the family members died and several others were seriously injured in a rollover of the van.