Experience

Won a complete defense jury verdict for Michelin in an $80 million, nine-week trial in Florida.

Dukes v. Michelin (Nineteenth Jud. Cir. St. Lucie Cnty. FL 2016)

Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell (WTO) attorneys won a complete defense jury verdict for Michelin North America, Inc., in a highly watched product liability lawsuit in Florida. The case involved claims filed by three plaintiffs stemming from a rollover accident in 2009 resulting in catastrophic brain injuries to two minor plaintiffs, 14 and 16, and injuries to an adult. In closing arguments, the plaintiffs’ lawyers asked the jury to award in excess of $80 million in damages.

In their lawsuit, the plaintiffs claimed Michelin’s tire was defective. A trial team led by WTO attorneys Michael O’Donnell, Edward Stewart, and Theresa Wardon, demonstrated throughout the nine-week trial that the tire was not defective. They showed the tire was well-designed and well-manufactured but had been previously damaged during its service life. The case also highlighted the dangers of purchasing a used tire. 

This latest victory follows other recent successes for Michelin in product liability cases. The same WTO attorneys also won a complete defense verdict for Michelin in a three-and-a-half week jury trial in Arizona in November 2015. Michelin has also won recent dismissal of three product liability lawsuits in Texas. These cases underscore Michelin’s commitment to vigorously defend the world-class quality of its product and the high-level work of its engineers.

Attorneys Michael Wiggins, Michael Correnti, and Jennifer Belbeck of the Florida-based firm McDonald Toole Wiggins assisted in the trial victory.

Won a complete defense jury verdict for Michelin following a nine-week trial in Florida in which the plaintiffs requested damages in excess of $80 million. WTO attorneys demonstrated that Michelin's tire was not defective, was well-designed and well-manufactured, and had been previously damaged during its service life. The jury found Michelin not liable for the accident.