Dykema to prepare auto industry for EV and hybrid litigation onslaught
Face it. Electric vehicles and hybrids are new market segments. As such, OEMs like GM, Ford, Toyota, etc. will see claims related to crashworthiness, pedestrian warning liability, and range capability, to name a few.
So, every automotive company needs to understand that these types of lawsuits pose real risk to their brands, corporate reputation and bottom line, which is why these OEMs and suppliers will attend the ABA Conference on Automotive Product Liability and Litigation this month, 3/28-3/20. The conference, celebrating its 22nd year will be held at the Arizona Baltimore in Phoenix, AZ, and will feature leading figures from the industry, in-house counsel, and master trial and appellate lawyers who will be covering the issues that are on the cutting edge of what is happening in both the industry and the courtroom.
In addition, the conference will include recent developments in class actions, regulatory developments, litigating brake pad asbestos cases, trial related topics, and issues unique to component part manufacturers, tire companies, and much more.
Dykema Automotive Product Liability Litigation Practice
I first became acquainted with OEM litigation issues when I started at Saturn Corporation, the wholly-owned subsidiary of the old GM. We were told that it was not IF Saturn would be sued, but when.
I learned first hand the settlement process in product liability cases, its hindrances, how the other side is perceived, how to counter those perceptions and build trust, and how to help ensure that cases that can settle do settle early and without unnecessary build-up in costs and fees. We were even coached on how to protect the company by proper use of documents like emails and other communications.
After I early retired and joined the TorqueNews team as a writer, I kept running into reps of the Dykema law firm at various conferences, like the business of Plugging In, for example.
So, this writer is not surprised the lead speakers at this year’s ABA Conference will showcase a high-profile law firm like Dykema with its Automotive Product Liability Litigation Practice. According to the news release related to me via email, five attorneys from the firm’s Automotive practice will be involved. Sessions include the following:
Primer on Vehicle Fire Cause and Origin Analysis: Brittany Schultz will lead the workshop,
Managing Risk in a Rapidly Growing Market: How the Automotive Industry is Preparing for Hybrid and Plug-In Electric Vehicle Liability Claims: Fred Fresard and Brittany Schultz will present.
Blockbuster Developments in Class Action Litigation: Terri Reiskin and John Thomas will serve as panelists in the discussion
Bridging the Divide: Plaintiff and Defense Counsel Mediation Summit: Derek Whitefield will serve as co-moderator for a point/counterpoint panel discussion,
The bottom line here is simple. OEMs and suppliers will have the opportunity to hear from attorneys who advise and defend the hybrid and electric vehicle industry about the types of claims they expect to see, and how other suppliers and OEMs are preparing to defend these cutting edge vehicles.
So, the one session that seems to stand out in this writer's mind as having the potential to provide great insight as the industry prepares for the expected EV and hybrid litigation onslaught would be the Bridging the Divide: Plaintiff and Defense Counsel Mediation Summit.
According to the news release, these two outstanding panels will especially allow plaintiffs’ attorneys and in-house counsel to talk directly to each other in a point and counterpoint discussion of the settlement process in product liability cases, hindrances to it, how the other side is perceived, how to counter those perceptions and build trust, and how to help ensure that cases that can settle do settle early and without unnecessary build-up in costs and fees.