|VIDEO| Key Moments from a Quartet of Recent, Noteworthy Trials

Posted by Arlin Crisco on Apr 11, 2024 1:34:34 PM

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CVN cameras have covered a wide range of noteworthy proceedings across the country over the last several weeks, from an Indiana motorcycle crash trial against Tesla, to a California premises liability case against Walmart, and much more. Check out these key moments in four of our recent trials.  

$60.8M Verdict at Trial Against Tesla Over Crash That Left Motorcyclist With TBI

In March, an Indiana jury awarded $60.8 million for the traumatic brain injury a motorcyclist suffered in a crash with a truck driven by a Tesla technician. The jury found Tesla, through the employee, 70 percent liable for the crash, reducing the post-verdict award to about $42.48 million. 

Tesla contends the motorcyclist’s own driving caused the wreck, but in his opening, the motorcyclist’s attorney, Nick Rowley, of Trial Lawyers for Justice, told jurors evidence showed the Tesla employee was at fault. 

“You [Tesla employee] weren’t reasonably careful, because you chose the gas pedal over the brake when you were being blinded by the sun.”

Read about the verdict. 

Watch the trial.

Yamaha Hit With $7M Verdict in Golf Car Crash Case

In February, a Georgia jury handed down a $7 million verdict for the injuries a toddler suffered in a Yamaha golf car rollover crash. Plaintiffs claim the vehicle’s two-wheel braking system was defective, while Yamaha counters that after-market modifications to the golf car rendered it unstable and helped cause the crash. While jurors found Yamaha 51% liable, the award against Yamaha will not be reduced, pursuant to the applicable apportionment statute. 

In his opening statement, Bayuk Pratt’s Frank Bayuk, representing the plaintiff, highlighted crash test video that he said showed a stock-version of the golf car crashed because of the vehicle's brake system. 

“As you sit and watch the evidence in trial, believe your eyes. See the evidence we bring. It’s in 4K.”

Read more about the verdict. 

Watch the trial. 

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ATV Rental Company Prevails in Rollover Crash Trial

SunBuggy Fun Rentals, a Nevada-based ATV rental company, was cleared in February of liability for a 2018 rollover crash that a patron suffered while on an ATV tour. Plaintiff claims the tour operator ignored a complaint she made about the vehicle’s steering, and that the company failed to adequately maintain their vehicles. 

But in closings of the four-day, Nevada trial, Sunbuggy’s attorney, Bradley Johnson, of Schnitzer Johnson & Watson, Chtd., told jurors that the woman chose to ride the ATV despite knowing the inherent risks involved and that she bore responsibility for failing to fully read a waiver before signing it. 

“[Plaintiff] is an individual who doesn’t particularly care to read or follow instructions from anybody. She’s going to do what she wants, and good for her, because that’s called freedom…. But with freedom comes responsibility.”

Read more about the verdict. 

Watch the trial.  

$2.45M Verdict in Trial Over Fall in Walmart Parking Lot

In March, jurors in California handed down a $2.45 million verdict for the back injury a woman suffered when she tripped in a pothole and fell in a Walmart parking lot. Jurors apportioned 65% of liability to Walmart and the remaining 35% to a party not at trial, reducing the ultimate award in the case to about $1.6 million. 

In his closing argument, Jonathan Kwan, of South Coast Trial Lawyers, reminded jurors of evidence he said proved Walmart should have known of the danger the pothole presented. 

“[Walmart] should have known that somebody was going to trip over that and have an injury.”

Read more about the verdict.

Watch the trial. 

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