Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law Granted in Products Liability Case
Apr 3, 2023
Austin attorneys John Chambless, Ron Wamsted, and Bill Mennucci were granted a mid-trial Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law in a product liability case before U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, Austin Division. This type of motion is made before a case is submitted to the jury, and argues that no reasonable jury could find for the opposing party, as whatever evidence exists for such ruling is legally insufficient.
The product liability claims arose out of a multi-vehicle accident that ultimately resulted in battery components from a Ford F-150 being ejected from the engine compartment and through Plaintiff’s windshield resulting in battery acid covering Plaintiff’s face and eyes. Additionally, she sustained a broken facial bone and facial lacerations. Plaintiff is a plastic surgeon who suffered permanent eye damage and disfigurement and sought millions in damages. The alleged product defect focused on the F-150’s battery retention system. Plaintiff’s safer alternative design was the battery retention system in the same model year Ford F-250.
The Thompson Coe defense team pointed out that the plaintiff must provide legally sufficient evidence of all elements of her cause of action in order to create a fact issue for the jury to decide.
The Thompson Coe defense team convinced the court both that Plaintiff failed to prove her safer alternative design would have prevented the battery components from being ejected from the F-150, and that the first of three collisions in this multi-collision accident substantially altered the battery retention system such that it was no longer in its as-manufactured condition by the time the components were ejected in the later collisions.