Largest Wrongful Death Verdict in San Diego County
The Law Firms of Panish Shea & Boyle LLP and Dreyer, Babich, Buccola & Wood Announce Record San Diego County Wrongful Death Verdict
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Tuesday afternoon, a San Diego County, California jury returned a record wrongful death verdict of $14,465,864 for the deaths of two adults against a Ford dealership. Before the trial, a settlement was reached with other defendants for $8,300,000, bringing the total to $22,763,000. This is the largest in the history of San Diego County, California for such a case. The case settled in total today. The Barber family was represented by trial lawyers Adam Shea and Spencer Lucas of Panish Shea & Boyle LLP, and Robert Buccola and Jason Sigel of Dreyer, Babich, Buccola & Wood LLP.
On July 31, 2006, Casey Barber was driving his Ford E350 Sportsmobile van on Highway 98 near Page, Arizona with his wife Melanie when a right-rear tire tread separation caused the vehicle to lose control and roll over. The San Diego couple sustained fatal injuries, and are survived by their three young sons, who were the plaintiffs in the lawsuit.
“The jury system works. It protected the Barber children, as well as all of us by forcing Mossy Ford to implement an ongoing training program for tire repairs.”
In August of 2005, defendant Mossy Ford performed a faulty tire repair. Plaintiffs’ counsel proved at trial that Mossy Ford improperly failed to take the tire out of service and that this conduct caused the tire tread separation and led to the fatal rollover accident.
As a condition of the post-verdict settlement, the Barber family insisted that Mossy Ford agree to immediately begin to follow industry guidelines regarding tire repair practices and to implement a training program to better train its technicians about safe tire repair practices to improve consumer safety. Mossy Ford agreed to these settlement conditions.
Plaintiffs’ attorney Adam Shea stated: “The jury system works. It protected the Barber children, as well as all of us by forcing Mossy Ford to implement an ongoing training program for tire repairs. This agreement by Mossy Ford to make these changes was critical to reaching a settlement after the verdict.”
Plaintiffs’ counsel Robert Buccola said: “Our goal was more than just obtaining a monetary recovery. Here, we were able to evoke real change and get the word out to other tire repair facilities of the importance of following tire repair rules to a tee.”
The case was tried in front of Judge Luis Vargas in Department 63 of the Superior Court in San Diego, California.
Barber v. Mossy Ford et al., Case No. [37-2007-00072100-CU-NP-CTL]
Superior Court of the State of California, County of San Diego, Department 63
Judge Luis Vargas