Farrar & Ball successfully concluded litigation against Hankook Tire Corporation when a settlement was reached in Cortez, et. al. v. Hankook Tire Corporation et. al., filed in Harris County, Texas. The lawsuit steamed from a rollover incident, which was preceded by the catastrophic tire failure of Plaintiffs’ right rear tire. In the rollover, Mrs. Cortez, a wife and mother to three minor children, was killed.
The accident tire was manufactured in Daejon, Korea by Hankook Tire Corporation. Plaintiffs filed and fought the case under the allegation the accident tire was defectively manufactured. During the pendency of the case, Mr. Ball of Farrar & Ball traveled to Korea to take the depositions of multiple Hankook Korean representatives. The depositions were ordered after the Court ruled Hankook had repeatedly engaged in discovery misconduct which warranted severe legal sanctions. As part of the legal sanctions, the Court ordered Hankook pay for Plaintiffs’ counsel to travel to Korea, inspect the Daejon Plant with Plaintiffs’ expert, and take as many depositions as Plaintiffs’ counsel required in order to secure needed testimony Hankook had refused to provide. In addition to ordering Hankook pay all of Plaintiffs’ expenses, the Court further ordered Hankook pay Plaintiffs’ counsel and hourly rate for the full length of the Korean trip. The Court reserved ruling on additional sanctions until Plaintiffs’ counsel returned from Korea. The case settled before the Court was permitted to hear a follow-up motion regarding Hankook’s discovery misconduct.
Hankook reached a settlement with Farrar & Ball and the Cortez family less than three weeks prior to trial. The amount of the settlement is confidential at the insistence of Hankook.