Experience

Ninth Circuit orders reversal and new trial in automotive product liability case


In 2007, WTO won a reversal and new trial in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in an automobile product liability case originally tried by another firm in 1998 that resulted in a punitive damages verdict of $150 million. The first jury's compensatory damages award and finding of oppression or malice had been affirmed on appeal, and the case was remanded solely on what amount of punitive damages should be awarded. 

WTO was asked to represent the company on remand. Our lawyers persuaded the second jury to award only one-third of the amount awarded in the initial trial. WTO then represented the company on appeal of that judgment. The Ninth Circuit found numerous errors in the trial court's rulings and jury instructions, reversed the verdict, and sent the case back for yet another trial solely on the amount of punitive damages.

Won reversal and remand from the Ninth Circuit in an automotive product liability case involving $150 million in punitive damages awarded at trial court.