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Lightfoot Secures Summary Judgment for GM in Product Liability Case

July 19, 2019

Lightfoot, Franklin & White LLC partners Harlan Prater and Rachel Lary, along with associate Bridget Harris, obtained summary judgment on behalf of General Motors LLC (GM) in a product liability case pending in the Eastern District of Arkansas.  

Plaintiffs alleged that a 1997 Saturn was defective and unreasonably dangerous due to alleged defects in its driver seat and frontal airbag. GM presented evidence that the vehicle met or exceeded all applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards when it was manufactured and sold, and that there was no evidence of the alleged defects. The court found that the plaintiffs failed to meet their burden of proof and dismissed each of their claims against GM.

Lightfoot serves as regional counsel for GM, representing it in automotive product liability cases in eight states across the Southeast. The firm has extensive experience in the defense of sophisticated and complex product liability cases for a range of products, including automobiles, consumer goods, medical devices and pharmaceuticals.

Prater’s three decades of law practice have been devoted to all types of high-stakes civil trial work, with a focus on product liability and pharmaceutical and medical device litigation. A Fellow of both the American College of Trial Lawyers and the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, he has served as national and regional counsel for various product manufacturers. Prater is one of fifteen Alabama lawyers selected as members of the Product Liability Advisory Council.

Lary serves as national counsel for several major clients. She leads a product liability team for a Fortune 500 company that requires overseeing and managing litigation in multiple states, including Alabama, Georgia and Louisiana. She defends automotive manufacturers in product liability claims throughout the Southeast. In addition, Lary’s business practice includes handling disputes across the South, including those in Arkansas and Tennessee.

Harris primarily practices in the areas of product liability, catastrophic injury, white-collar criminal defense and corporate investigations, medical malpractice and commercial litigation.

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