Product Liability Lawyers
If you’ve been injured by a product from a company you thought you could trust, Panish Shea & Boyle has the experience and strength to help you. The firm’s attorneys have been recognized many times for their assertive, hard-hitting consumer work and for recovering significant damages. Of particular note is Brian Panish’s role as lead counsel in a 1999 product liability case against General Motors. Panish helped win $4.9 billion — the largest product liability verdict ever won in the United States — for two adults and four children who were injured by a defective fuel system in their Chevrolet Malibu. At trial, it was discovered that GM knew about the defects but had decided that it was cheaper to settle lawsuits than fix the problem. For his work on the case, Panish was recognized in 1999 as Trial Lawyer of the Year by the Consumer Attorneys of Los Angeles.
Another major product liability case handled by the firm’s attorneys was Lampe v. Continental Tire, in which a defective tire’s tread separated on the road, causing an accident that left a woman paraplegic. Adam Shea and Brian Panish won more than $55 million for the plaintiff — the largest tire-defect jury verdict in American history.
Other notable product-defect cases by the firm include:
- Roes v. Doe Auto Manufacturer: confidential multimillion dollar settlement on behalf of a family involved in on-road rollover of sport utility vehicle. The case focused on the absence of electronic stability control (ESC) and the defective roof. Reconstruction of the accident showed that the rollover would have been prevented if the vehicle was equipped with electronic stability control. Information developed during the lawsuit showed that the electronic stability control (ESC) had been offered by the vehicle manufacturer for many years, but despite its proven safety benefit, the manufacturer chose to make this safety system optional equipment on the SUV.
- Doe v. Manufacturer, a case where a fuel-fed fire killed or severely burned occupants of a 15-passenger van that rolled over because of design flaws. The case ended with a major, confidential settlement.
- Beltran v. Boeing et al, in which defective parts caused a catastrophic crash of an Army helicopter over Iraq, injuring two maintenance officers. Settlements to date total $13.65 million.
The firm’s Los Angeles attorneys are consistently recognized for their work in consumer law, including several leadership roles in major nationwide consumer litigation, and repeated nominations for national lists of the nation’s biggest verdicts and most influential trial lawyers. Panish has won the American Jurisprudence Award in Product Liability, among other fields.
Defective Product Verdicts & Settlements
- Anderson v. General Motors $4,907,632,000
- LA County v. Tobacco Industry $3,300,000,000
- Griggs v. Caterpillar, et al. $58,137,361
Joseph B. Griggs sued West-Pac Industries after the Catepillar scraper he was operating burst into flames resulting in third-degree burns over 75% of his body. Attorney Brian Panish argued that the fire was due to a defective mechanical product in the hydraulic system of the construction vehicle. A jury agreed, awarding Griggs $58,137,361.
- Lampe v. Continental General Tire $55,600,000
- Barber v. Mossy Ford $22,765,864
- Wu v. Singapore Airlines $15,000,000
Wrongful Death verdict in crash of Singapore Airlines Boeing 747-400 which attempted to take off on a closed runway during Typhoon Xangsane, the plane crashed and the fuselage broke into three sections, killing 82 people and injuring 169 others. Only one case from the crash was tried to jury verdict, and that family was represented by Brian Panish and Kevin Boyle.
- Beltran v. Boeing, et al. $13,550,000
Largest known settlement for military personnel injured during the war in Iraq awarded to Juan Beltran and Ron Carns for injuries they received. Beltran was represented by Kevin Boyle and was awarded $11,247,500 for injuries he suffered in a helicopter crash in Iraq which left him paralyzed.
- Hernandez v. Doe Heater Manufacturer $3,700,000
- Pineda v. Kubota Tractor Co. $1,500,000