It's been a busy start to the summer for courtrooms across the country, with CVN covering high-stakes trials in cases ranging from auto-defect, TBI claims to massive opioid lawsuits.
Here are just a few of the key moments over the last couple of weeks alone.
$20M+ TBI Trial Underway Against Kia
As a California trial against Kia opened last month over the rollover crash that left an aspiring pop singer with a traumatic brain injury, Jonathan Michaels, of MLG Attorneys, told jurors Kia intentionally designed its passenger-side seat belt pretensioner not to fire in its 2015 Forte.
“In a laboratory environment, where all the conditions are controlled, the car performs to a five-star standard. In the real-world, where people actually drive? You’re going to see that it’s the second-most deadly car in its class.”
But Kia’s attorney, James Feeney, of Dykema Gossett PLLC, told jurors the seat belt system performed appropriately, and exactly as designed.
“(T)he belt locked…. You don’t need a pretensioner to lock a seatbelt. For years, seat belts have been made with no pretensioners.”
Landmark Opioid Trial Opens in New York
The nation’s first state court jury trial over the opioid epidemic opened in New York this week. And Napoli Shkolnik’s Hunter Shkolnik, representing Nassau County, contended the epidemic was the result of a “calculated decision” to profit off of a drug that pharmaceutical companies knew was addictive.
“Something happened in these board rooms where they said, ‘You know what? We can make billions of dollars on this and we can make it quick.'”
But Morgan Lewis’ Nancy Patterson, representing Teva and other pharmaceutical companies, contended that there’s no evidence that doctors or others were duped by pharma-marketing. And she added that the state failed to take action on the opioid-related information it had.
“The State of New York, always, always, had more information than any defendant about opioid prescriptions and opioid shipments into the state of New York. The evidence will show that the state just didn’t do anything with it, and they certainly didn’t share it with the defendants, or my clients.”
Colorado Judge Rules Baker's Refusal to Make a Cake for a Transgender Woman Violated Anti-Discrimination Law
Last month, Colorado State Court Judge A. Bruce Jones found that Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips violated the state’s anti-discrimination law when he refused to make a birthday cake to celebrate Autumn Scardina's gender transition.
The decision followed a closing argument by Paula Greisen, of King Greisen, who contended the defendants’ failure to use Scardina’s preferred pronouns was a sign of bias and discrimination Greisen said was inherent in the refusal to bake the cake.
“It’s the same thing as refusing to recognize her identity. And that’s what they did when they refused to sell her the cake she requested.”
Juul Agrees to $40M Settlement Over Its Marketing
With scheduled openings on the horizon in what was to be a landmark trial brought by the State of North Carolina against Juul over its marketing practices, the e-cigarette giant announced it had reached a $40 million settlement with the state. Kirkland Ellis’ Andrew McGaan called the settlement part of a broader “reset” for the company.
“The settlement that the company has entered into is consistent with its ongoing efforts to reset the company and its relationship with the stakeholders.”
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Email Arlin Crisco at firstname.lastname@example.org.