Watch: What Led to $25M Verdict in Nissan Brake Failure Trial

Posted by Courtroom View Network on Aug 26, 2020 2:27:15 PM

A $25 million verdict against Nissan for the brake failure that jurors found killed three people was named one of CVN’s Top 10 Must-Watch Automotive Product Liability trials. And now you can watch the most critical moments of that trial FREE thanks to our sponsor ChartSquad, with our Trial in 20 Minutes episode on the blockbuster case.

A California state court jury hit Nissan with the $25 million verdict in 2017 after concluding defective brakes on a 2004 Infiniti QX56 caused the SUV to slam into another vehicle, killing a mother and her two daughters in 2012. 

The children’s father, Hilario Cruz, and other family members sued Nissan North America Inc., claiming that the company knew about problems with the “delta stroke sensor” component in the SUV’s breaking system but failed to adequately warn consumers by issuing a recall.


Nissan argued throughout the trial that the accident was caused entirely by the SUV’s driver, Solomon Mathenge, then 74. Mathenge was charged with manslaughter after the crash, but the charges were dropped when prosecutors became aware of a class action lawsuit against Nissan alleging the same type of brake failure Mathenge claimed he suffered occurred in numerous other vehicles, including the QX56.

The trial featured a slate of legal heavyweights on both sides of the courtroom. Brett Turnbull, Ryan Lutz, Jerome Tapley, Kirk Wolden and Paul Kiesel represented the plaintiffs. They faced off against Thomas Klein, Julian Senior, Jordan Tabak representing the defense. 

You can watch the most important moments from the trial, including key openings, expert testimony, and closing arguments, as part of our Trial in 20 Minutes feature.

Watch This Trial in 20 Minutes Now, for Free



Topics: Trial in 20 Minutes, ChartSquad