As with product liability cases in general, it is essential that the vehicle(s) be preserved and kept in secure storage. We purchase the wrecked vehicle(s) and place them at a local storage facility where we store all of our wrecked vehicles, with access to a lift, 3-D scanning and on-site experts/consultants. It is also imperative that no destructive testing be permitted on the vehicle or any component of the vehicle, including downloading the “black box”, without informing the auto manufacturer and having a representative of that manufacturer and its lawyer present during these inspections. At Cathey & Strain we have proven, highly-qualified experts who will survive any Daubert challenge to their qualifications/methodology and testing. The costs to develop these cases is extremely high and we advance all costs of the case, which can run anywhere from $200,000 up to a million dollars, most of which relate to expert analyses by a multitude of experts from different fields and testing of exemplar vehicles. We have obtained multi-million dollar settlements/verdicts in a wide variety of auto defect cases including the following:
- Client suffered catastrophic brain damage rendering her completely disabled as a result of a car hood failing to perform as designed and penetrating the windshield of her vehicle causing contact with the head of the driver.
- Death of a young mother with two children as a result of inadequate service/maintenance instructions by the auto manufacturer and negligent inspection/brake repair by a dealer, which resulted in loss of control and rollover of the vehicle.
- A retired couple on their way to Alaska for a vacation was struck in their Jeep by another driver resulting in a rollover and roof crush, due to inadequate roof strength, which rendered the wife quadriplegic.
- Numerous Jeep CJ-5 and CJ-7 cases across the country in which occupants were severely injured and/or killed as a result of instability and resultant rollover.
- Numerous multi-piece tire rim cases handled around the country arising from defects or mis-match and resulting in tire rim explosions causing catastrophic injuries or death.
- Cathey & Strain’s founding partners were part of the initial team of trial lawyers forming the Bronco II Litigation Group, trying cases around the country based on the rollover propensity of the Ford Bronco II vehicle.
- Numerous cases resulting from the rollover/roof crush and death and/or catastrophic injury of occupants of 15-passenger vans, Suzuki Samuris and Ford Explorers.
- A multi-million dollar recovery was made on behalf of a one-year-old child riding in a defective child seat, which was not compatible with the vehicle, after a head on collision rendered him brain damaged and quadriplegic, requiring 24-hour care and a respirator.
- Numerous defective seat back, door latch, seat buckle and seat belt cases, resulting in the death or catastrophic injury of occupants including minor children and infants.
- Significant recovery for the parents of two small children, who locked themselves into the trunk of their parents’ vehicle and were found hours later dead from heat, was based upon the failure of the vehicle to have an illuminated trunk unlatch mechanism, which can be seen and used to open the trunk from the inside.