Legler v. American Honda Motor Co., Inc.


    This case involved a single-vehicle rollover of a 2013 Honda Accord EX-L Coupe.  The incident occurred as Plaintiff drove the subject vehicle at approximately 50 MPH into a parking lot embankment in San Rafael, California, causing it to become airborne, clearing nearly 63 feet of roadway, and landing on its front-end then rolling over.

    Plaintiff alleged unintended acceleration and that the driver’s seatbelt pretensioner was defective and caused Plaintiff’s injuries to be more severe.  Plaintiff filed suit against American Honda Motor Co., Inc. for Strict Liability – Manufacturing and Design Defect, Negligence – General and Failure to Recall, Breach of Warranty – Express and Implied, and violations of the Consumer Legal Remedies Act.

    After both factual and expert discovery closed, Plaintiff abandoned the unintended acceleration theory and dismissed his actions for design defect, negligence and breach of express warranty, continuing to trial on the manufacturing defect, breach of implied warranty of merchantability, and violation of the Consumer Legal Remedies Act.

    YOKA | SMITH attorneys Alice Chen Smith and Andrew K. Figueras tried this case in the Marin County Superior Court.  At the close of both cases-in-chief, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. moved for a directed verdict on all counts. The trial court granted directed verdict on breach of implied warranty.  During closing arguments, Plaintiff asked the jury for $6 million.

    After two weeks of evidence and testimony, the jury returned a verdict for Defendant in under two hours on both manufacturing defect and Consumer Legal Remedies Act claims.

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