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Lightfoot Wins Summary Judgment for Fiat Chrysler in Product Liability Case

March 18, 2020

Lightfoot, Franklin & White LLC partners Michael L. Bell, Rachel M. Lary and Brian P. Kappel, along with associate W. McKinley Dunn, secured a summary judgment on behalf of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA).

The plaintiff alleged that the driver’s side airbag in the subject vehicle was defective and deployed “too aggressively” in a head-on collision, causing her serious injury. The Lightfoot team moved for summary judgment on FCA’s behalf and presented the court with expert testimony that the airbag was not defective and performed as it was designed in the accident.

The court granted summary judgment in FCA’s favor and dismissed all of the plaintiff’s claims.

Bell has represented automotive manufacturers for more than 30 years. A Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, he leads the Lightfoot teams representing FCA and other leading automotive manufacturers throughout the Southeast. 

Lary serves as national counsel for several major clients for their product liability litigation, which requires overseeing and managing cases in multiple states. In addition, her practice includes handling business disputes across the South, including those in Arkansas, South Carolina and Tennessee.

Kappel is a versatile trial lawyer who defends companies in a wide range of disputes, including complex class actions. He regularly handles matters involving antitrust, employment and product liability claims. 

Dunn represents automotive and other manufacturers in cases involving product liability. In addition, he practices in the areas of catastrophic injury, medical malpractice and commercial litigation.

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