$19.5 Million Verdict – Product Liability – Defective Brake Design

Todd Muchnick obtained this verdict against General Motors, which at the time, was one of the largest plaintiff's verdicts in the State of Missouri.

Todd Muchnick obtained this verdict against General Motors, which at the time, was one of the largest plaintiff's verdicts in the State of Missouri. J.B., an electric power linesman, was removing downed power lines at the scene of an automobile collision when a tow-truck arrived at the scene. The tow truck driver testified that he put on the "Tow Brake" when he arrived. Eyewitnesses testified that after the driver left the tow truck, they heard a "pop" and the truck began to roll down an incline toward J.B. The tow-truck rolled onto J.B., and dragged him down the incline for 60 feet before the truck came to rest on top of him. J.B. sustained horrific, life-altering injuries. General Motors, the truck manufacturer, claimed the accident was caused by poor brake maintenance.

Despite General Motors’ failure to accept responsibility, personal injury attorneys Todd Muchnick and Gerald M. Dunne (co-counsel) demonstrated that the brake design was faulty and that there had been three prior lawsuits involving the same problems. J.B. received a favorable jury verdict and was awarded $12.5 Million. His wife received a verdict for $3 Million. J.B. also received a rare award for punitive damages in the amount of $4 Million.

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