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Kaster, Lynch, Farrar & Ball Trial Lawyers Earn National Honors

Veteran tire defect litigators make 2020 Super Lawyers lists in Texas, Florida

HOUSTON and OCALA, Fla. – Three veteran trial lawyers from Kaster, Lynch, Farrar & Ball have been singled out by peer-review guide Super Lawyers for their litigation success at holding tire manufacturers accountable for defective and dangerous tires.

Attorneys Bruce Kaster, Wes Ball and Kyle Farrar earned repeat recognition on the prestigious list based on feedback from peer lawyers and the team’s string of wins in hard-fought litigation against domestic and international tire manufacturers. They were honored for products liability and plaintiff personal injury work.

Along with firm co-founder and trailblazing trial lawyer Skip Lynch, they have earned record verdicts and settlements across the U.S. on behalf of victims of vehicle crashes caused by defective tire treads. Their work has helped shine a light on the need for transparency and better oversight of tire manufacturers.

Mr. Kaster marked his fifth year on the Florida Super Lawyers list. Messrs. Farrar and Ball have made the Texas Super Lawyers list every year since 2014 and before that were on the Rising Stars list of up-and-coming young lawyers.

Kaster, Lynch, Farrar & Ball trial lawyers are authorities on accidents caused by defective tire treads, litigating high-profile lawsuits against domestic and international manufacturers in China, South Korea and Japan. They have managed to obtain closely guarded internal documents that revealed previously unknown design and manufacturing defects. Theirs is the only U.S. law firm to have secured court orders to inspect Asian tire manufacturers and to conduct an inspection of such plants.

“We’re dedicated to holding manufacturers accountable for the safety of these products, and we’re proud to earn this recognition from our legal peers,” said Mr. Kaster.

Super Lawyers, owned by Thomson Reuters, uses a patented selection process involving peer nominations and independent research. No more than 5 percent of a state’s lawyers can be selected.

About Kaster, Lynch, Farrar & Ball

Based in Ocala, Florida, and Houston, trial lawyers at Kaster, Lynch, Farrar & Ball have hard-earned expertise in cases against global vehicle and tire manufacturers over various defects that can cause significant injuries and death. The firm is a nationwide leader in securing verdicts and settlements against the world’s largest tire and vehicle manufacturers. For more information, visit www.TheTireLawyers.com and www.FBtrial.com.

Trial lawyers from Kaster, Lynch, Farrar & Ball played a leading role in arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court this week on behalf of a Minnesota man who suffered life-changing injuries blamed on a defective passenger-side airbag in a Ford Crown Victoria.

At stake in Bandemer v Ford and companion case arising from a similar challenge by Ford in Montana courts is an attempt by Ford to drastically limit the ability of individuals to hold corporations accountable for dangerous products and practices. In Bandemer, the automaker has claimed that product defect lawsuit cannot be filed in Minnesota courts where the wreck occurred because the specific vehicle was not originally purchased in that state. The Michigan-based automaker claims that plaintiffs seeking damages for injuries caused by defective parts should be required to file lawsuits in the state where the vehicles were designed or manufactured. Ford appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court after state supreme courts in Minnesota and Montana rejected the automaker’s arguments.

Kaster, Lynch, Farrar & Ball trial lawyers Kyle Farrar, Wes Ball and Mark Bankston have played a leading role in the legal challenge. “If Ford wins this case, you could only sue those companies where they’re headquartered, which brings all kinds of issues up with component part manufacturers that may be headquartered in Japan or Canada,” Mr. Farrar told Court TV. “There may be no recourse for people if Ford wins this.”

Tire defect experts call for product safety vigilance

HOUSTON and OCALA, Florida – As global tire manufacturing ramps back up after  COVID-19 pandemic closings, trial lawyers at Kaster, Lynch, Farrar & Ball (KLF&B) are calling on the industry to be vigilant about quality control and urging regulators and consumers to be on the lookout for defective tires entering the market.

Tire manufacturing depends on precise temperature and humidity settings that affect chemical reactions, as well as complex mechanical adjustments, and any changes in those variables can result in dangerous tread defects, said trial lawyer Wes Ball.

“Tire manufacturing is a complicated process with no room for error,” said Mr. Ball. “These companies have learned that government oversight only goes so far. We fight to hold them accountable when they fail to keep dangerous products out of the marketplace.”

KLF&B attorneys are authorities on litigation involving accidents caused by defective tire treads, including high-profile lawsuits against manufacturers in China, South Korea, Japan and other countries. That work includes obtaining closely guarded internal company documents that have revealed details about design and manufacturing defects. KLF&B is the only U.S. law firm to have secured court orders to inspect Asian tire manufacturing facilities and the only one to actually conduct an inspection of such tire-making plants.

“I am proud to be part of this team of talented lawyers and paralegals who continue to break new ground in uncovering tire defects and their causes,” said firm co-founder Skip Lynch.

In a recent lawsuit against China-based Sailun Jinyu Group, the firm represented the family of a Florida man who died in a truck crash caused by the catastrophic tread failure of a Hercules/Sailun tire. The KLF&B team obtained extensive internal documents and secured a court order allowing inspections of Sailun’s manufacturing facilities. The inspection order was on appeal by Sailun when the case settled.

Material obtained in that lawsuit is being used in litigation on behalf of others injured by defective Sailun tires, including a similar case in Philadelphia.

“These manufacturers operate under a lax regulatory environment that too often allows defective tires to enter the marketplace unnoticed,” said KLF&B trial lawyer Kyle Farrar. “Too often, consumers are left in the dark about product recalls. When these companies fail consumers, we make sure they’re held accountable.”

About Kaster, Lynch, Farrar & Ball

Based in Ocala, Florida, and Houston, Texas, trial lawyers at Kaster, Lynch, Farrar & Ball have hard-earned expertise in cases against global vehicle and tire manufacturers over various defects that can cause significant injuries or deaths. The firm is a nationwide leader in securing verdicts and settlements against the world’s largest tire and vehicle manufacturers. For more information, visit TheTireLawyers.com.

Win is latest by Kaster, Lynch, Farrar & Ball trial team in large commercial tire cases

HOUSTON and OCALA, Florida – Trial lawyers at Kaster, Lynch, Farrar & Ball (KLF&B) won an important Arkansas Court of Appeals ruling, upholding a $1.2 million product defect verdict against Hankook Tire Company and its U.S. subsidiary, as well as sanctions against Hankook and an awarding of attorney fees. The May 20 decision involved an Arkansas truck driver seriously injured in a crash caused by a defective Hankook tire.

The case shines a light on defective commercial truck tires used on dump trucks, RVs and a wide variety of fleet vehicles. The KLF&B trial team has extensive experience working on behalf of individuals who have been injured in accidents caused by truck tires including the Hankook 385/65R 22.5, Goodyear G670 Load Range H 295/80R22.5, Sailun S825 425/65R22.5, and the Hercules H402 425/65R22.5.

In addition to the KLF&B team, the plaintiff was also represented by trial lawyers Jerry Kelly of Carlisle, Arkansas-based Kelly Law Firm and Ben Caruth of Morrilton, Arkansas-based Caruth & Virden.

“This case underscores how Hankook and other tire manufacturers must do a better job spotting defective tires before they enter the marketplace,” said trial lawyer Skip Lynch. “These companies need to take responsibility rather than use the courts to stall and delay. And when manufacturers fail to take these matters seriously, they need to know that courts will uphold sanctions and award attorney fees.”

Kaster, Lynch, Farrar & Ball has a national reputation for holding tire manufacturers accountable and raising awareness about the dangers of defective tires. The firm is the only one in the U.S. to obtain a court order to inspect Hankook manufacturing facilities in South Korea. The team recently obtained a similar order allowing inspections of Sailun manufacturing facilities in China.

In the Arkansas ruling, the court found that a 2016 verdict against Hankook was proper. Jurors had found that Hankook and subsidiary Hankook Tire America were separately liable for the defective tire that caused the 2010 crash injuring Elmer Philpot. He was ejected through the windshield of the dump truck he was driving after a tread separation on a Hankook 385/65R 22.5 tire. In addition, the appellate court upheld sanctions and an award of attorney fees based on what the opinion described as Hankook’s “obtuse and unnecessary abuse of the discovery process.”

“This jury spoke loud and clear,” said trial lawyer Bruce Kaster. “We are grateful that the Arkansas Court of Appeals agreed, and Mr. Philpot can finally move on with his life.”

The ruling means Hankook must respect the jury’s $1.2 million damages verdict and attorney fees of $43,025. The case is Hankook Tire Co. et al. v. Elmer Philpot, Case No. 2020 Ark. App. 316, in the Arkansas Court of Appeals.

About Kaster, Lynch, Farrar & Ball

Based in Ocala, Florida, and Houston, Texas, trial lawyers at Kaster, Lynch, Farrar & Ball have hard-earned expertise in cases against global vehicle and tire manufacturers over various defects that can cause significant injuries or deaths. The firm is a nationwide leader in securing verdicts and settlements against the world’s largest tire and vehicle manufacturers. For more information, visit TheTireLawyers.com.

Kaster, Lynch, Farrar & Ball trial lawyers: Case has broad consumer safety implications

HOUSTON – A COVID-19-related delay in the U.S. Supreme Court’s spring docket includes an important automotive defect case in which Ford Motor Co. is attempting to limit the ability of injured individuals to hold manufacturers accountable for defective products.

Trial lawyers from Kaster, Lynch, Farrar & Ball were preparing for scheduled April 27 oral arguments in Bandemer v. Ford when the Supreme Court’s spring docket was postponed. The case has generated high-profile support, including an amicus brief filed by prominent law professors from New York University Law School and George Washington University Law School.

“This is a critically important issue for the future safety of consumers,” said trial lawyer Kyle Farrar. “By restricting the ability for individuals to file lawsuits in their home states and the states of their injuries, automakers and other manufacturers will be less accountable for injuries caused by their defective products.”

In Bandemer v Ford, Minnesota resident Adam Bandemer alleges that a defective passenger-side airbag in a Ford Crown Victoria that he was riding in was responsible for a severe brain injury he suffered in a 2015 crash.

The issue before the Supreme Court hinges on Ford’s claims that since the Crown Victoria in the Bandemer lawsuit and a Ford Explorer in a companion lawsuit were originally purchased outside the states where the accidents occurred, the plaintiffs cannot file their cases in their home states because those states lack jurisdiction over Ford. Under such circumstances, the Michigan-based automaker claims the plaintiffs should be required to file the lawsuits in the state where the vehicles were designed or manufactured. Ford appealed to the Supreme Court after state supreme courts in Minnesota and Montana rejected the automaker’s arguments.

Bandemer is represented by Kyle W. Farrar, Wesley Todd Ball and Mark Bankston of Kaster Lynch Farrar & Ball LLP.

“This is another attempt by powerful corporate interests to strip citizens of their constitutional right to access the civil justice system,” Mr. Farrar said. “Government oversight and regulations are toothless in holding manufacturers accountable. It’s vital that consumers have access to courts when dangerous products cause injuries.”

About Kaster, Lynch, Farrar & Ball

Based in Ocala, Florida, and Houston, the trial lawyers at Kaster Lynch Farrar & Ball LLP have hard-earned expertise in cases against global vehicle and tire manufacturers over various defects that can cause significant injuries or deaths. The firm is a nationwide leader in securing verdicts and settlements against the world’s largest tire and vehicle manufacturers. For more information, visit TheTireLawyers.com.

Firm achieves major verdicts, settlements in product defect lawsuits

HOUSTON AND OCALA, Florida – Trial lawyers at Kaster, Lynch, Farrar & Ball are named among the finalists for the National Law Journal’s Elite Trial Lawyers “Law Firm of the Year” for products liability litigation based on a string of recent legal victories that include large jury verdicts and numerous major settlements.

The firm as selected among more than 300 nominations for the honor, which highlights the team’s experience and active nationwide trial docket in more than two dozen states. Honorees will be announced Jan. 20 in Miami at the National Trial Lawyers Summit, a gathering of the nation’s outstanding civil plaintiff and criminal defense attorneys.

Kaster, Lynch, Farrar & Ball has developed special expertise in tire defect litigation, including successfully mounting aggressive discovery battles with multinational tire and automotive corporations.

Firm successes within the last 18 months include:

  • A $6.7 million jury verdict for the family of a Louisiana man who was killed when a defective truck tire experienced sidewall zipper failure and exploded while he was inflating it.
  • An $11.7 million product defect verdict and four related confidential settlements for a New Jersey woman whose arm was severed after her car struck a large truck tire retread on the road.
  • Numerous tire defect settlements with significant confidential awards against some of the world’s largest tire and automotive companies, including Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, Bridgestone Tire and Michelin.
  • A successful challenge at the Minnesota Supreme Court in a closely watched case, Bandemer v Ford Motor Company, that attracted amicus support. Ford has appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, and the firm is working in tandem with Stanford Law School on this matter.
  • The firm has served as lead counsel in high-profile defamation litigation against Alex Jones and InfoWarson behalf of parents of children killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

Based in Ocala, Florida, and Houston, trial lawyers at Kaster Lynch Farrar & Ball LLP  have hard-earned expertise in cases against global tire manufacturers over tire defects that can cause vehicles to lose control and roll over, often at highway speeds and without warning. The firm is a nationwide leader in securing verdicts and settlements against the world’s largest tire and vehicle manufacturers. For more information, visit TheTireLawyers.com.

Tire company failed to warn of sidewall zipper explosions while inflating

PLAQUEMINES PARISH, La. – The law firm of Kaster Lynch Farrar & Ball, LLP, has again obtained a significant verdict against a multinational tire company, this one against Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.

A Louisiana district court has awarded a $7.2 million verdict for the tire explosion death of a Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, man. The jury found that Goodyear Tire & Rubber failed to provide adequate warning about both the existence and cause of sidewall zipper failures with its G182 tire.

Kaster Lynch Farrar & Ball trial lawyers presented evidence showing that the tire company’s warnings about zipper failure were misleading about the circumstances in which a tire could rupture. In addition, the warnings were never relayed to employees of the Solid Waste North Department of the Plaquemines Parish Government. They were unaware of explosion risks for tires on the fleet of garbage trucks, according to court testimony.

On Feb. 5, 2014, Elwood Breaux Jr. and a co-worker were inflating a G182 tire after noticing that the tire pressure was low. Mr. Breaux was holding the tire upright when the sidewall ruptured. The force of the air escaping from the tire threw him backward, and he sustained serious internal injuries to his chest and abdomen. Mr. Breaux never left the hospital and died from his injuries 28 days later.

The January 2019 trial lasted two weeks. In his Sept. 10, 2019, ruling, Judge Michael Clement ruled that Goodyear had not carried out its duty to warn Mr. Breaux and co-workers about the tires’ dangers and how to avoid being injured. Judge Clement awarded $6.73 million for Mr. Breaux’s six children and his wife, with an additional $481,075 going to the parish, which had intervened in the lawsuit to recoup costs associated with the tragedy.

The trial team included co-lead counsel Kyle Farrar and Skip Lynch of Kaster Lynch Farrar & Ball with assistance from Danny Meeks and Kristen Meeks of Metairie, La.-based Meeks and Associates. Kaster Lynch Farrar & Ball paralegals Daneen Muscato and Malisa Uwagawa served as support.

Based in Ocala, Fla., and Houston, Texas, the trial lawyers at Kaster Lynch Farrar & Ball, LLP have hard-earned expertise in cases against global tire manufacturers over tire defects that can cause vehicles to lose control and roll over, often at highway speeds and without warning. The firm is a nationwide leader in securing verdicts and settlements against the world’s largest tire manufacturers. This year alone, the firm has secured three 8-figure verdicts against three different tire companies and recovered confidential settlements totaling a multiple of those verdicts against other tire and vehicle manufacturers.  For more information, visit TheTireLawyers.com.

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.