This investigative piece looks at the efforts of car dealers to evade responsibility in selling defective vehicles, with copycat legislation in numerous states.
Langdon & Emison attorneys Kent Emison and Michael Serra have been published by Thomson Reuters' Automotive Journal, on the subject of guardrail defects. "Defective guardrails in serious injury and death cases" takes a look at the many design defects of the end terminals that are out there on American roadways, particularly those models made by Trinity and Lindsay Transportation's Barrier Systems.
"As a result of ongoing litigation and public awareness, many states have barred the installation of these dangerous guardrail end terminals, and some have even begun the expensive process of removing them from the roadway," they wrote. "But nearly half the states continue to install these defective and dangerous guardrail systems on our roadways. Until they are removed, it is likely that more deaths and serious injuries will occur."
Kent is a Fellow in the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, and for 2018 was named "Personal Injury Lawyer of the Year" for the Kansas City metro area by Best Lawyers in America. He is a frequent lecturer to bar associations and trial lawyer groups nationwide, and devotes 100 percent of his practice to litigation in product liability, motor vehicle accidents, and other cases involving personal injury and wrongful death.
Michael has been named a "Rising Star" in personal injury litigation by the Super Lawyers publication, bringing a firm commitment to justice to his work and a breadth of experience going up against large corporations. As an associate at Langdon & Emison, Michael plays a key role in all phases of litigation for cases involving defective vehicles and products; electrical shock injuries; railroad accidents; and other instances of negligence.
The spring 2018 edition of the Langdon & Emison newsletter has been published. Inside this edition, you can read about defective Takata airbags, truck accident recoveries, tips on an effective focus group for plaintiffs' cases, and many more substantive topics.
To read the full newsletter, click here.
This fall marked the 20th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court argument in Baker v. General Motors, and a news piece that aired this fall on several broadcast affiliates takes a look at this precedential case. Baker was a Langdon & Emison victory described as influential in the law because it provided an answer to the question of whether expert testimony could be called upon from former employees.
As part of the American Association for Justice's programming of substantive sessions at its Annual Meeting in Boston, Partners Bob Langdon and Brett Emison, spoke on aftermarket vehicle defect litigation. The audience of the nation's top plaintiff's attorneys was treated to a presentation on the dangers of recreational vehicles, limousines, ambulances, police cruisers and other modified vehicles.
Aftermarket vehicle defects often aren't identified and lawsuits aren't pursued, resulting in a missed opportunity to obtain the compensation you need to recover from your injuries. For more than three decades, clients and referring attorneys across the country have worked with Langdon & Emison attorneys in identifying and litigating aftermarket vehicle cases. Bob and Brett have worked on aftermarket vehicle cases for a combined 45 years in practice, and bring a wealth of industry knowledge to the topic of how to identify the defect and how to show that a vehicle's alteration contributed to an automobile's lack of safety.
According to the AAJ, "Trial attorneys are committed to ensuring that all people—individuals, families, patients, workers and consumers—can seek justice in our nation’s courtrooms.
The AAJ is the preeminent organization in America trying to fight for that right. Trial attorneys seek a balanced civil justice system, and the AAJ advocates for tough laws to hold industries and corporations accountable when they withhold information that can harm or kill. Both Bob and Brett are members of the AAJ's Leaders Forum.
The U.S. Supreme Court this week rejected a request from General Motors to curb lawsuits from its ignition-switch defect.
Takata has finally pleaded guilty to deceiving automakers about the safety of its airbags. This week's guilty plea by Takata in federal court, as well as the new accusations against automakers in a separate lawsuit, show that legal proceedings in the airbag scandal continue to move forward.
Langdon & Emison attorney Mark Emison published an article recently on establishing liability in roadway signage cases. The article, “Signage and Traffic Control Defects in Catastrophic Injury Cases,” appeared in the 2016 Winter Edition of AIEGVoice, a publication of the Attorneys Information Exchange Group.
Langdon & Emison partner Brett Emison recently published an article, "Screening for Auto Defects" in the November 2016 issue of Trial magazine, an American Association for Justice publication. Emison works routinely with attorneys across the United States to evaluate catastrophic injury and death cases for potential auto product defects.
"When handling auto crash cases, you must be diligent and identify all potential failures that resulted in injury--an auto defect may result in more serious injuries than would have occurred otherwise," Emison said.
In most cases, drivers carry only the minimum auto insurance that their states require, ranging from only $15,000 to $50,000. In these instances, negligent drivers are vastly underinsured, highlighting the critical importance of carefully evaluating every motor vehicle crash for a potential auto product defect.
According to Emison, there are four scenarios to consider when evaluating whether an auto defect contributed to an injury or death:
· A minor collision at residential speeds results in catastrophic injury or death.
· A single occupant is severely injured or killed while other occupants suffer minor, if any, injuries.
· Failure of or severe damage to a localized area of the vehicle.
· Seat-belted occupants are seriously injured or ejected.
The work conducted within the first few days or weeks after a client contacts an attorney is crucial for successfully identifying a product defect. Emison describes several types of auto defects that can contribute to a serious injury, including defective seatbacks, fuel-fed fires and defective tires.
“Every trial lawyer should screen an auto crash for potential auto defect claims,” Emison said. “You often can conduct an initial review with only an accident report and few photographs, though additional follow-up may be required.”
View Emison’s full article here, or listen to him talk about identifying auto product defect claims in this video.
About Brett Emison
Brett A. Emison is a partner at Langdon & Emison where his practice focused almost exclusively on catastrophic injury and death cases as well as class action and other complex tort cases. His experience and expertise spans an array of personal injury litigation, including auto product defects; railroad crossing accidents; trucking accidents; and defective drugs and medical devices. Mr. Emison is a member of the American Association for Justice Leaders Forum. Brett also serves on AAJ’s Publications Committee; PAC Board of Trustees; and its National Finance Council. Because of his vast experience, he is regularly published in national trade publications on product liability and other contemporary legal topics.
About Langdon & Emison
Langdon & Emison is recognized as one of the nation’s leading personal injury law firms, having taken on some of the world’s largest corporations on behalf of injured people and their families in courtrooms from coast to coast. Langdon & Emison represented the plaintiff in Baker vs. General Motors, a landmark lawsuit where for the first time evidence was admitted into court proving an automaker’s deliberate choice of profits over human safety. With offices in Lexington and Kansas City (Mo.), St. Louis, and Chicago, the firm has earned a national reputation as a leader in auto defect cases, trucking accidents and a full array of personal injury litigation.
Langdon & Emison partner Brett Emison will present at the American Association for Justice 2016 Annual Convention on July 25 in Los Angeles. Mr. Emison will be featured on a distinguished panel of speakers at the Products Liability Section Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Program, presenting on the topic of “Evaluating Product Liability Cases: Do I Take the Case or Not”?