Yukevich | Cavanaugh Prevails For Honda In $32.5M Personal Injury Suit

March 25, 2024

In a notable legal victory for vehicle manufacturers, an Orange County jury dismissed personal injury claims worth $32.5 million against American Honda Motor Co. Inc., challenging the consumer expectations test's boundaries as defined by a 2014 appellate ruling. The case, led by James Yukevich of Yukevich Cavanaugh, highlighted the automotive industry's hesitance to engage in trials post the Romine v. Johnson Controls Inc. decision, which limited expert testimony in scenarios where lay jurors could assess a product's safety. The trial scrutinized the design of a Honda CRV's driver's seat, implicated in exacerbating the plaintiff's injuries following a high-speed collision. Despite the restrictive standards set by Romine, which barred Honda from presenting evidence of the seat's compliance with federal safety standards, the defense successfully argued that the seat's performance met consumer expectations, culminating in a swift jury decision favoring Honda. This outcome not only underscores the complexities of product liability litigation but also signals a potential shift in how such cases might be approached and adjudicated in the future.