Products liability trials often turn into a battle of the experts. With stacks of documents, intricate design specifications, accident recreations, and other data for a jury to consider, a verdict can swing on how convincingly an expert delivers complex, dry information. Even the best data can be undone by an expert who can't to explain it clearly, while strong expert testimony can be the most powerful element of a party's case. In a brain injury trial over Ford's Explorer SUV design, accident reconstruction expert Todd Saczalski powerfully supported the theory that led to an eight-figure plaintiff's verdict.
Eileen Robinson suffered permanent brain injuries when the Ford SUV in which she was traveling skidded on a wet road and struck an embankment throwing her from the vehicle. Robinson and her husband Todd sued Ford, claiming the vehicle's faulty design led her seat and safety belt to fail. Ford argued that the angle at which the vehicle struck the embankment, not its design, caused Eileen Robinson's injuries.
Saczalski walked jurors through his version of the accident, step-by-step, tying crash scene evidence and accident data to his conclusions on the SUV's angle of impact. His narrative was both cogent and clear, explaining data and details the jurors might otherwise find confusing. The testimony was a key piece to the plaintiff's case and it helped them to a $53 million verdict.
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