Appeals Court Upholds Lower Court Judgment on Products Liability Case

Johnson Trent attorney Chris Trent recently obtained an outstanding appellate result in a products liability case against a leading tire manufacturer.  On March 30, 2012, in a per curium opinion in the case of Maria Rodriguez Trenado v. Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the jury verdict in favor of Cooper Tire and Rubber Company on all of the claims asserted against it. 

Plaintiffs had alleged that a Cooper tire on their van had failed, causing an accident in which two people were injured and two were killed. The Plaintiffs asserted numerous design and manufacturing defects in the tire designed and manufactured by Cooper.

After a 7-day trial, where Cooper was defended by Johnson Trent attorneys Chris Trent and Rafe Taylor, the jury completely exonerated Cooper Tire from all liability.  After an appeal by the Plaintiffs, during which Chris Trent persuasively argued in support of Cooper Tire, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the inclusion of a rebuttable presumption in the jury charge. The Fifth Circuit concluded that the jury was properly allowed to determine both whether the presumption applied and whether it had been rebutted. The Court also held that the trial court did not err in allowing the admission of evidence related to Cooper’s compliance with the federal safety standard and denying the Plaintiffs’ Motion in Limine on that point. 


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