Howard v. Ford Motor Co.
Howard v. Ford Motor Co. | Cal. Superior Court, Alameda County
Lead counsel for plaintiffs in 30-million-member class action based on defendant’s violations of Consumers Legal Remedies Act and Unfair Competition Law by concealing safety-related defect from government regulators and millions of consumers. Case was one of six related actions pending throughout the United States, which involved appearances before several federal courts, including U.S. District Courts in three states, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, the Ninth Circuit, the California Court of Appeal (three times) and the California Supreme Court (twice). Equity phase of bifurcated trial resulted in the first court-ordered automotive recall in a private civil action in U.S. history and an order requiring Ford to provide full restitution. Legal phase of trial resulted in hung jury and subsequent writ petition over claim for $3.6 billion in statutory damages.
Negotiated nationwide settlement valued at $2.7 billion while preparing to retry claims in jury phase, which included warranty extension (from five years or 50,000 miles to 10 years or 100,000 miles) and establishment of a $5 million fund for use in conducting safety research by George Washington University’s National Crash Analysis Center.
Opposing Counsel: O'Melveny & Myers LLP; Snell & Wilmer LLP; Wheeler Trigg & Kennedy LLP