News & Insights

Superior Court of Los Angeles Jury Sides With KIA Motors in Product Liability Suit

February 18, 2020

Dykema, a leading national law firm, successfully defended Kia Motors America, Kia Motors Corporation, and Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia (collectively, “KIA”) in a product liability case in the Superior Court of Los Angeles. After a 17-day trial, and after deliberating for just 90 minutes, on February 13, 2020, a jury returned a defense verdict in favor of KIA. Plaintiffs were seeking more than $87M in damages.

In May 2018, plaintiffs filed an instant action claim against KIA following an automotive accident that occurred in May 2017 involving a 2016 Kia Optima. Plaintiffs later filed their Second Amended Complaint (SAC) asserting causes of action for Strict Product Liability, Negligence, and Wrongful Death. In total, plaintiffs sought damages of $87.7 million.

Plaintiffs contended that issues with the Kia Optima’s power steering caused the loss of driver control. However, the jury determined that KIA was not responsible for any damages occurring in the accident.

“We were pleased by the jury’s decision that found KIA not liable for this unfortunate accident,” said Mike Carey, a member of the Dykema trial team. “After a long and strenuous process for all parties involved, we are pleased with the outcome, showing that the 2016 KIA Optima is a safe, reliable vehicle that has no defects in its power steering system.”

The Dykema team representing KIA was led by James Feeney and included Dommond Lonnie, Director of Dykema’s Automotive Industry Group, Mike Carey, Co-Leader of Dykema’s Mobility & Advanced Transportation Team, James Azadian, and Cory Webster.