July 24th, 2017|
A jury in Los Angeles has returned a $25 million verdict for Hilario Cruz, Araceli Mendez, and Solomon Mathenge against Nissan in a lawsuit blaming faulty brakes for a car crash that killed three people. The crash that occurred at an intersection in Hollywood involved a minivan and an Infiniti QX56, manufactured by Nissan. The van driver and her two children were killed when the Infiniti slammed into their vehicle. Cory Watson, P.C. attorneys F. Jerome Tapley, Brett Turnbull, Ryan Lutz, and Adam Pittman represented plaintiffs in the case alongside Paul Kiesel, Steven Archer and Bryan Garcia of Kiesel Law LLP, Kirk Wolden of Carter Wolden, as well as attorneys Claudia C. Bohorquez and Vicki I. Sarmiento.
“We applaud the jury for their diligence and hard work reviewing the evidence in this case. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families who lost their loved ones in this tragic accident that could have been avoided. We hope this verdict will inspire Nissan to step up and take responsibility for the safety of their vehicles so that no one else is killed or injured because of a product defect Nissan failed to reveal and recall,” said Cory Watson attorney Jerome Tapley. The verdict was announced July 21, 2017 in Superior Court of California for Los Angeles County.
The lawsuit charged that Nissan knew about a software problem affecting the brake operation, but failed to disclose it and recall the vehicles. The complaint charged that, “Rather than disclose this critical safety defect and recall the defective vehicles as it should have done, Nissan made a conscious decision to ignore the problem at the expense of the safety of its customers, those operating the defective vehicles, and the public at large.”
Nissan argued that the brakes on the QX56 are safe, and the automaker blamed the deadly crash on the driver of the QX56. The jury rejected Nissan’s argument. The driver of the Infiniti was also the target of a criminal prosecution and wrongful death civil lawsuit filed by the victims’ family until an investigation revealed the brake failure claim wasn’t the first involving a similar class of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles.
The case is Cruz v. Nissan North America, Inc., et al., case number BC493949, in the Superior Court of California for Los Angeles County.