November 21, 2021 in Case Summaries

Sarah Milburn obtained a $25 million judgment following a Dallas County jury’s verdict that a defective seat belt system in a Honda Odyssey in which she was riding as an Uber passenger rendered her a quadriplegic in a side-impact collision.  Working with trial lawyers Charla Aldous, Jim Mitchell, and Brent Walker, Jeff Levinger authored the appellate briefing and persuaded the Dallas Court of Appeals to affirm the judgment in.  Reviewing an extensive record from the three-week trial, the court of appeals held that: (1) sufficient evidence supported the jury’s finding that Sarah had rebutted the statutory presumption of non-liability in Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 82.008; (2) Sarah’s human factors expert was qualified and provided sufficient evidence to support the jury’s finding of a design defect; (3) the evidence was sufficient to support the jury’s findings that a safer alternative design for the seat belt system existed; (4) Honda’s negligence in designing the seat belt system was the proximate cause of Sarah’s injuries; and (5) the trial court correctly refused to submit a proportionate responsibility question that included Uber.  The Texas Supreme Court has granted review and heard oral argument in September 2023.  American Honda Motor Co., Inc. v. Milburn, 668 S.W.3d 6 (Tex. App.—Dallas 2021, pet. granted).

Courts:  Texas Intermediate Courts; Texas Supreme Court

Subject Matter:  Products Liability & Personal Injury