Trial Lawyer Kyle Farrar has earned the Pound Civil Justice Institute’s prestigious Appellate Advocacy Award for his leadership in automotive product liability litigation that resulted in a U.S. Supreme Court opinion hailed as a “stunning break” preserving the right of individuals to hold manufacturers accountable for defective products.
Legal Battle All the Way to the U.S. Supreme Court
Mr. Farrar led litigation in the trial court and on appeal through the U.S. Supreme Court in Bandemer v. Ford. The lawsuit was filed by a Minnesota man who suffered serious injuries when a defective airbag in the Crown Victoria he was riding in failed to deploy during a crash in 2015.
Ford sought to shut down the litigation claiming that since the car 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 argued that the lawsuits could be filed only in the states where the vehicles were designed or manufactured. Such a ploy would have made it far more difficult for the individuals to file their lawsuits. State supreme courts in Minnesota and Montana had previously rejected the automaker’s arguments.
In March 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court returned a unanimous opinion rejecting Ford’s argument in a ruling that has far-reaching implications for injury lawsuits across the country.
The Pound Civil Justice Institute is a national legal think tank created by pioneering members of the trial bar and dedicated to ensuring access to justice for ordinary citizens. Through its activities, the Institute works to give lawyers, judges, legal educators and the public a balanced view of the issues affecting the U.S. civil justice system.
Mr. Bandemer has been represented throughout the litigation by Kyle W. Farrar, Wesley Todd Ball and Mark Bankston of Kaster Lynch Farrar & Ball LLP.