Mark Chalos Comments on New Tennessee Rules Requiring Preservation of Auto Defect Evidence

Mark Chalos Comments on New Tennessee Rules Requiring Preservation of Auto Defect Evidence

Proposed rule will require parties in vehicle injury settlements to preserve accident vehicles if destroying them would hurt other cases

The Board of Professional Responsibility of the Tennessee Supreme Court was requested to issue a Formal Ethics Opinion regarding the ethical propriety of a settlement agreement in a products liability case which contains as a material condition of the settlement that the subject vehicle alleged to be defective be destroyed. In response, the Board has issued a new ethics opinion seeking to change the requirements for preserving evidence in product liability lawsuits that result in settlements, making it illegal for the parties thereto to agree to destroy evidence in some instances. The formal ethics opinion reads “[i]t is improper for an attorney to propose or accept a provision in a settlement agreement, in a products liability case, that requires destruction of the subject vehicle alleged to be defective if that action will restrict the attorney’s representation of other clients.” [Read more…]

U.S. Vehicle Safety Officials Investigating Fiat Chrysler Roll-Away Crashes

U.S. Vehicle Safety Officials Investigating Fiat Chrysler Roll-Away Crashes

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is investigating a potential Fiat Chrysler auto defect, in which the vehicles roll away despite being shifted into park. U.S. auto safety regulators will be inspecting about 1 million 2013-2016 model year Ram 1500 pickup trucks and 2014-2016 Dodge Durango SUVs in the wake of numerous vehicle roll-away reports. These auto injury reports have included nine injuries and 25 crashes so far. [Read more…]

In Memory of Clarence Ditlow III, Executive Director of the Center for Auto Safety

In Memory of Clarence Ditlow III, Executive Director of the Center for Auto Safety

Clarence M. Ditlow III, Executive Director of the Center for Auto Safety, died on November 10th after a year-long battle with cancer. Allies as well as those he challenged united in praise for his 40 years of ceaseless fighting to keep the nation’s roads safer for everyone who used them. Safety Research & Strategies, Inc. noted his passing as a “big loss for the safety advocacy community,” while Senators Ed Markey, D-Mass., and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., noted in a joint statement in the Congressional Record of September 29th that Ditlow was “A tireless champion for consumers, [whose] work has resulted in better government oversight of automakers, the installation of key safety features and the exposure of safety defects in millions of cars, SUVs, and other trucks.” [Read more…]

David Stellings Discusses Litigating Automobile Class Actions

David Stellings Discusses Litigating Automobile Class Actions

Lieff Cabraser partner David S. Stellings will be featured at the Law Seminars International (LSI) Second Annual NOLA Advanced Seminar on “Litigating Automobile Class Actions” from December 6-7, 2016 at the Ritz-Carlton in New Orleans, Louisiana. As Program Co-Chair, Mr. Stellings will provide an introduction and overview of the seminar, then will participate in a roundtable discussion entitled “View From the Top: How To Manage an Auto-Defect Case,” where he will share tips based on his experiences in the VW Diesel Emissions consumer litigation. [Read more…]