Brett Turnbull Takes on Nissan
A Mother and her two daughters (4 and 6)(the Cruz family) were killed in
a car wreck while driving in Los Angeles. Solomon Methenge was the man
driving the car that hit the family – an Infiniti QX 56. As a result of
the wreck, he was charged with 3 counts of vehicular manslaughter for
alleged reckless driving.
Eventually, the criminal charges were dropped against Mr. Methenge and
both the Cruz family and Mr. Methenge sued Nissan for a braking defect
alleging that it caused the crash.
Brett Turnbull and several members of the Cory Watson team (Jerome
Tapley, Ryan Lutz, Adam Pittman), represented the Cruz family. Mr.
Methenge had his own lawyer (Paul Kiesel).
A huge challenge of the case was that Mr. Methenge stated multiple times
that he “sped up” / “accelerated” and things of that nature when
describing the alleged brake failure in his criminal case. Nissan used
his prior testimony and what appeared — at first blush — to be a very
high speed crash to blame Mr. Methenge for hitting the accelerator in
lieu of the brakes (“pedal confusion” defense). Nissan kept driving
this point home throughout the trial alleging Mr. Methenge was driving
in excess of 70 mph in a 35 mph zone.
Nissan spent $1.6 million on experts before trial, had 5 lawyers
including the top two Bowman and Brook trial lawyers, and endless
resources to defend. It was a true war through and through 21 trial
days after 4 days of pre-trial motions.
The jury came back last Friday after two days of deliberations, awarding
Methenge $3,500,000 and Brett’s clients $21,500,000 with 100%
liability on Nissan.
I want to say congrats to the entire team that fought for justice!
Having had a chance to watch some of the trial, they did an amazing job
and the entire trial was televised on CVN