Products Liability Judgment Affirmed in Part in Wrongful Death Case Involving Frontal Airbag
August 5, 2011 in Case Summaries
Working closely with trial lawyers Lee Brown, Eric Porterfield, and Mary Alice McLarty, Jeff Levinger successfully represented the family of Andrea Ruiz, who died when the driver’s side airbag in her Kia Spectra failed to deploy in a frontal collision. The Dallas Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment that the Ruiz family obtained after a three-week jury trial, holding that the evidence was sufficient to support the jury’s finding of a defect in the design of the airbag circuitry that caused the nondeployment. The court also held that Kia was not entitled to claim a presumption of “no-defect” under section 82.008 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code because there is not a federal safety standard that governs the design of airbags or the risk that an airbag would not deploy in a crash. The Texas Supreme Court affirmed the rulings on the sufficiency of the evidence and the inapplicability of the no-defect presumption, but remanded for a new trial based on the trial court’s admission of “other similar incidents” evidence. Kia Motors Corp. v. Ruiz, 348 S.W. 3d 465 (Tex. App. — Dallas Aug. 5, 2011), rev’d in part, 432 S.W. 30 865 (Tex.2014).
Courts: Supreme Court of Texas, Texas Intermediate Appellate Courts
Subject Matter: Products Liability & Personal Injury