Closely watched ruling protects access to courts for consumers in injury lawsuits against manufacturers
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Kaster, Lynch, Farrar & Ball trial lawyers have won an important U.S. Supreme Court victory, securing a unanimous opinion that Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) cannot limit the ability of injured individuals to hold manufacturers accountable for defective products by restricting where those lawsuits can be filed.
The closely watched opinion released Thursday in Bandemer v. Ford impacts a wide range of product defect and personal injury litigation. The 8-0 ruling soundly rejects Ford’s argument that it could not face product defect lawsuits in state courts if specific vehicles involved in the claims had not been purchased in those states.
“This common-sense ruling means manufacturers like Ford must remain accountable in state courts for the safety of their products, no matter where a specific product is sold,” said Kaster, Lynch, Farrar & Ball trial lawyer Kyle Farrar, who played an active role in the Supreme Court arguments and earlier trial and appellate matters. “Ford’s attempt to limit where injury lawsuits can be filed would have made it harder to ensure that products are safe and manufacturers are accountable. This is an important ruling for the safety of all products.”
In Bandemer, 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 justices also heard a companion case with similar facts that originated in Montana state court.
Ford claimed that since the Crown Victoria in the Bandemer lawsuit and a Ford Explorer in the companion lawsuit had been purchased outside the states where the accidents occurred, the plaintiffs lacked jurisdiction to file lawsuits in their home states. Instead, Ford claimed the lawsuits could be filed only in the states where the vehicles were designed or manufactured. State supreme courts in Minnesota and Montana had previously rejected the automaker’s arguments.
The cases are Ford Motor Company, Petitioner v. Montana Eighth Judicial District Court et al., case number 19-368, and Ford Motor Company, Petitioner v. Adam Bandemer, case number 19-369, in the U.S. Supreme Court. Mr. Bandemer has been represented throughout the litigation by Kyle W. Farrar, Wesley Todd Ball and Mark Bankston of Kaster Lynch Farrar & Ball LLP.
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.