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Kaster Lynch Farrar & Ball Wins Key Minn. Supreme Court Ruling in Closely Watched Ford Airbag Lawsuit

Kaster Lynch Farrar & Ball attorneys recently won an important appellate ruling at the Minnesota Supreme Court in a product defect lawsuit against Ford Motor Co. for injuries caused by a defective airbag. In addition to earning a critical victory for a Minnesota resident who suffered serious injuries when his airbag failed to deploy, the closely watched case has broad implications for individuals seeking a level playing field in litigation against national and multinational corporations.

At a time when corporations are seeking to limit legal venues and make it harder for individuals to file product defect and personal injury lawsuits, the Minnesota Supreme Court rejected Ford’s venue challenge arguments seeking the lawsuit’s dismissal. A majority on the court ruled that the Minnesota court system is the proper venue for the case filed by Adam Bandemer because the vehicle involved in the wreck was purchased Minnesota, Mr. Bandemer is a Minnesota resident, and the wreck occurred in the state. Mr. Bandemer was a passenger in a Ford Crown Victoria and suffered a serious head injury when the vehicle’s airbag failed to deploy during a January 2015 collision.

“What’s important about the decision is it ensures Minnesotans have recourse against national and multinational corporations that put defective products in the stream of commerce,” said Kaster Lynch Farrar & Ball attorney Kyle Farrar, who tried the case along with KLFB attorney Mark Bankston. “Mr. Bandemer was a passenger in a Ford vehicle that was purchased, registered and being driven in Minnesota. To require him to litigate in Ford’s backyard of Michigan would be a manifest injustice, and ultimately would lead to significantly fewer cases being filed, therefor less means by which to ensure the safety of the products we use every day.”

The Minnesota Supreme Court decision upholds earlier rulings from the trial court and the Minnesota Court of Appeals that the case was properly filed in Minnesota. Ford is expected to appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court. The case is Bandemer v. Ford Motor Co.

The Legal Intelligencer newspaper interviewed Kyle Farrar following a record jury verdict and settlements in a Pennsylvania lawsuit in which a mother and her baby daughter were seriously injured in a crash caused by a defective Bridgestone truck tire.

Writes The Legal Intelligencer: “According to Houston attorney Kyle Farrar of Farrar & Ball, who was the lead plaintiffs attorney in the case, along with Wesley Ball, the trial centered around the trucking company’s failure to call 911. Farrar said he focused arguments on an internal document from the trucking company outlining that their policy instructed drivers not to accept responsibility for accidents.

“I think that caused the jury to think their conduct was outrageous,” he said.

Click here to read the article.

Law360 spoke with Wes Ball following the firm’s record verdict and related settlements for a mother and her infant daughter who were seriously injured in a crash caused by a defective Bridgestone truck tire.

Writes Law360: “Silvi Concrete has joined Bridgestone in settling a woman’s claims that the companies are responsible for the dismemberment she and her infant daughter suffered in a car crash, days after a Pennsylvania jury hit Silvi with a $11.7 million compensatory damages verdict in the case, the woman’s attorneys announced Tuesday.

“It is our understanding based on research … that this is the largest amputation settlement of any kind, period, in any state,” Mr. Ball said. “I think it was an incredible result for the client and I am incredibly proud of the work my entire team did.”

Click here to read the article.

Kyle Farrar and Wes Ball have both been named to Thomson Reuters’ list of Texas Super Lawyers for 2018. This is the fifth consecutive year each attorney has received the honor, having first been named in 2014. The Texas Super Lawyers list is published by the Thomas Reuters legal department, and is compiled from nominations submitted by attorneys from across the state. The final list comprises less than five percent of attorneys practicing in Texas. Once the list is complete, it’s published each year in Texas Monthly and Texas Super Lawyers magazine.

Farrar & Ball, LLP, has dedicated itself to helping individuals who have been hurt or killed through the recklessness and neglect of others. In addition to personal injury, the firm represents clients in a range of legal matters, including pharmaceutical tort litigation, product liability claims, and commercial disputes.

Farrar & Ball congratulates attorney David Romagosa for his repeat selection to the Rising Stars list of top young lawyers in Texas. This is the eighth consecutive year Mr. Romagosa has been named to the list, the first being 2010. Texas Rising Stars honors those attorneys under 40 years old, or who have been practicing the law less than 10 years. Of all the eligible attorneys practicing in Texas, only 2.5 percent are nominated each year.

Farrar & Ball, LLP, is dedicated to fighting for those who have been injured or killed through the carelessness of others. In addition, the firm takes on a range of other matters, including product liability claims and commercial litigation.