The cause of a catastrophic injury just didn’t sit well with Howard. So he came to us.
When we first met Howard, he was at the end of his rope. Several months earlier, Howard’s 23-year-old daughter suffered catastrophic injuries when, on a rainy day, her Chevy Cavalier had suddenly turned left across a highway median and was violently struck by an oncoming pickup truck. Howard’s daughter was ejected from the vehicle.
Howard knew his daughter was a careful driver, and he refused to believe that she had voluntarily made this incomprehensible turn into oncoming traffic for no reason. Determined to learn whether something had caused his daughter to lose control of her car, he approached a prominent law firm, which turned the case down. He met with lawyers at a second firm, and then a third and a fourth. All of the firms told Howard they would not get involved in a case they thought could not be won. Then Howard and his daughter came to our office.
Asking different questions and investigating more aggressively than others had done, our team learned that just three months before the accident, Howard’s daughter had purchased two new tires for her car, which a tire service company had mounted on the front of the vehicle. Consultation with tire experts confirmed what everyone else had missed: that placing new tires on the front of a car can be extremely hazardous. It is also in violation of tire installation standards, which mandate that new tires with deeper tread always be mounted on the rear of a vehicle. Mounting new tires on the front while leaving worn tires on the rear greatly increases the likelihood of hydroplaning and losing control on a highway wet from rainy conditions, as the front tires with the better tread will grab the road while the rear tires slide out. This, we concluded, was precisely what had happened to the vehicle and caused Howard’s daughter’s injuries.
Once we identified the correct theory of liability, we filed a lawsuit and depositions were taken of every important witness. Even though “black box” data showed that Howard’s daughter had been speeding and not wearing her seatbelt, we steadied our focus on the improper tire installation, ultimately obtaining an $8.5 million settlement. The funds helped provide the care and rehabilitation Howard’s daughter needed to rebuild her life and recover from her injuries.
When so much is on the line for our clients, we don’t rest until we figure it out.
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