Matthew G. was a passenger in a vehicle being operated by a young man who made a right turn at a rate of speed too high for the vehicle’s handling characteristics. Matthew was ejected from the vehicle; it came to rest with the weight of the vehicle compressing his chest. He was deprived of oxygen and suffered life-threatening injuries, resulting in permanent brain damage.
The driver of the vehicle had a minimal insurance policy; he plead guilty to felony driving under the influence of drugs with injury after it was determined he drove the vehicle with narcotics in his system.
The family hired James R. Murphy, Jr. to represent Matthew in the litigation that followed. Products liability litigation against auto manufacturers is notoriously vicious. Mr. Murphy expended $375,000.00 in costs to force the automaker to the bargaining table. Multiple experts were retained, and several prototypes of the vehicle were purchased and tested. The cost for the single day of crash-testing exceeded $75,000.00. In every test, the vehicle rolled over at 30 miles an hour when it should have withstood the turn at 55 miles per hour.
Based upon this evidence, the auto-manufacturer offered a settlement to the family. The settlement was the largest pretrial settlement in the history of this type of litigation. Matthew received a settlement of $4,750,000.00. His brother, a passenger, received $250,000.00 for the emotional distress he experienced witnessing his brother being injured; the other passenger in the car suffered soft tissue injuries and recovered $250,000.00. The total recovery in the case was $5,250,000.00.
Testimonial by Larry G.:
“Our family found it extremely difficult to find an attorney who would be willing to take on a giant automaker in a complicated products liability case. Most attorneys did not want to handle the case because the driver of the vehicle was convicted of a felony and was held criminally responsible for his role in the injury to my son. When we met with Mr. Murphy, he told us that he would fight for our son as though Matthew were his own son; throughout the case Mr. Murphy put the interests of my son first. Ultimately, Jim forced the auto manufacturer to settle based upon the powerful case Jim’s team had developed. Jim hired the best experts and worked relentlessly on behalf of our family. I could not recommend Jim Murphy more highly. He remains a friend of our family to this day.”