Since our founding in 1990, Lightfoot has represented clients in virtually every sector of the transportation industry. Whether the mode is rail, automobile, trucking, aviation, or recreational vehicles, our attorneys excel at defending clients whose business is moving goods and people. We regularly defend automobile, heavy truck, bus, locomotive, and aircraft manufacturers — as well as their component suppliers — in high-stakes product liability, commercial, and catastrophic injury litigation.

Our work includes serving as national and regional coordinating counsel for U-Haul International, automotive component supplier Meritor WABCO, and heavy truck manufacturer PACCAR. We have defended more than 600 cases for both foreign and domestic automobile manufacturers — including Chrysler, Ford, Hyundai, and VW — alleging an array of defect theories involving air bag systems, seat belt systems, seat backs, door latches, vehicle structure, and crash-worthiness claims.

We also represent motor carriers — a favorite target of personal injury attorneys — as well as road builders, who are often not shielded by the immunity laws that protect the state agencies with whom they contract.

In short, Lightfoot attorneys have a deep understanding of transportation related litigation.

Representative Matters

  • Obtained a defense verdict for our client, a nationwide moving company, in a jury trial in which the Plaintiff claimed debilitating back injuries and over $1 million in damages after an auto accident involving our client’s tow dolly. The Texas jury returned a defense verdict after deliberating for less than 30 minutes.
  • Reached a favorable settlement in Texas for our client, a nationwide moving company, in which Plaintiffs asserted product liability, negligence, and wantonness allegations against our client, seeking millions of dollars in damages.
  • Secured a defense verdict for our client, an American auto manufacturer, in a $7 million wrongful death case in which the Plaintiff alleged a defective seat belt system and side door glass. After deliberating for less than two hours, the jury returned a defense verdict in favor of our client.
  • Obtained defense verdict for our client, an auto manufacturer, in a personal injury trial in which the Plaintiff claimed more than $44 million in damages. After eight days of trial, the jury returned a unanimous verdict in favor of our client.
  • Secured reversal of a $14 million jury verdict against our client, an auto manufacturer, in a personal injury case in Virginia.
  • The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a trial court order granting our client, a Japanese auto manufacturer, motion for summary judgment in a product liability action claiming that a defect in the plaintiff’s motorcycle caused an accident that paralyzed the plaintiff from the waist down.
  • Secured a defense verdict on behalf of our clients arising out of a bus crash involving 15 fatalities and 14 injured passengers that occurred in Arkansas and was filed in Mississippi.
  • Lightfoot defended a products liability death case against our client, an auto manufacturer, in Alabama. The plaintiff’s lowest settlement demand prior to trial was $600,000 and our offer was $100,000. The jury returned a verdict in favor of our client.
  • Lightfoot defended our client, an auto manufacturer, in a product liability case tried in Alabama. The plaintiff suffered personal injury in an auto accident involving a vehicle manufactured by our client. The plaintiff claimed that the vehicle went out of control due to a steering system defect, which subsequently was the subject of a recall. After a week and a half of trial, the plaintiff asked the jury for a total award of $2.25 million. The jury returned a verdict for our client on all counts.
  • An Alabama jury returned a unanimous verdict in favor of our client, an auto manufacturer, in a wrongful death case.
  • Lightfoot prevailed in a catastrophic injury case in Alabama in which the Plaintiff contended that our client, an auto manufacturer, had developed a vehicle that was uncrashworthy. Plaintiff claimed more than $17 million in past and future medical damages, and more than $27 million in total compensatory damages. Plaintiff also asked the jury to award punitive damages. After eight days of trial, the jury returned a unanimous verdict in favor of our client.
  • An Alabama jury rendered a verdict for our client, an auto manufacturer, in a catastrophic injury case involving one of its vehicles. The jury was asked by the Plaintiffs to award $15 million in damages. The jury deliberated for two hours before rendering a verdict for our client.
  • Lightfoot was lead counsel in defending our auto manufacturer client in a personal injury case involving one of its vehicles in Virginia. The case tried for three weeks and ended in a hung jury. The case retried for two weeks on a breach of implied warranty of merchantability theory. The jury deliberated for two days and returned a verdict for the Plaintiff. Our client filed post-trial motions to set aside the verdict and for a new trial, which the trial court denied. On appeal, the Virginia Supreme Court reversed the jury verdict. The Court found that the Plaintiffs’ airbag expert’s testimony did not have an adequate foundation. Accordingly, the Virginia Supreme Court rendered final judgment for client.
  • Reversal by the Alabama Supreme Court of a trial court order which did not provide sufficient protection to commercially sensitive airbag system technology.
  • Successful defense of an automotive company in a case where plaintiff who died from liver laceration alleged death was the result of a defective seat belt system.
  • Retention shortly before trial in the Huntsville, Alabama School Bus crash cases in which 33 school children were either killed or injured. At the time of our retention, a third motion for sanctions was pending and the case was set for trial in 30 days. We avoided sanctions, retained new experts, and presented a vigorous defense that enabled the cases to be satisfactorily resolved.
  • Summary judgment for the manufacturer of a commercial vehicle collision mitigation system in a personal injury case in Michigan. The plaintiff alleged that she sustained severe neck injuries due to improper initiation and braking by the collision avoidance system on her 18 wheeler.
  • Defense of a road builder in a hydroplaning case brought on behalf of an injured minor and the estates of his two parents who were killed in the crash. The trial resulted in a hung jury, and the case was settled favorably before the second trial.
  • Summary judgment — pursuant to the General Aviation and Revitalization Act — in two multiple-death cases for a general aviation aircraft manufacturer in cases related to single–engine climb performance and FAA certification issues.