Personal Injury Results

Case Results

Automotive Defects and Car Accident Cases

Case Results

Estimated $75,000,000 - $125,000,000 Settlement
Automotive Product Defect Class Action
In re: Hyundai Horsepower Litigation,

This settlement netted class relief totaling between $75-$125 million. The case was aggressively litigated over nearly two years and was fought on numerous fronts. The nationwide litigation began in September 2002 when Hyundai announced it had overstated horsepower ratings in more than 1 million vehicles sold in the United States over a 10 year period. SSH was one of several firms around the country that filed class actions against Hyundai, but in early 2003, Hyundai announced it had settled the case on a nationwide basis with two lawyers in Beaumont, Texas. SSH was part of a leadership group of interveners in Beaumont who were provided 90 days to conduct discovery and challenge the settlement.

Estimated $50,000,000 Settlement
Automotive Product Defect Class Action
Lewin, et al. v. Volkswagen of America, Inc.,

Stueve Siegel Hanson brought a class action against Volkswagen for defective window regulators installed on nearly 1 million vehicles including 1999-2003 model year VW Golf, GTI and Jetta and 1998-2003 model year VW Beetle. Under the settlement agreement VW agreed to (1) reimburse all expenses incurred by VW owners in the past related to replacing the defective window regulators,(2) install a redesigned metal window regulator replacing any failed window regulators (which used plastic components) under an extended warranty, (3) extend the warranty for all four window regulators at issue to 7 years from the date of the car purchase. The settlement also required VW to direct mail the notice of settlement to nearly 1 million customers as well as publish a summary notice in USA Today and incur all administrative costs in for processing the extended warranty and reimbursement claims. The value of the settlement including the replacement costs and extended warranty could exceed $50,000,000.00. SSH was awarded attorneys' fees and costs in the litigation.

Benzene Exposure and Other Chemical Exposure Cases

Case Results

$39,500,000 Settlement
Benzene Exposure and Toxic Chemical Exposure Class Action
Hopkins v. Premcor, et al.,

Stueve Siegel Hanson represents land owners and residents of Hartford, Illinois who are living on top of a four million gallon underground gasoline plume. Residents of Hartford, which is located between the refineries to the East and the Missouri River to the West, have experienced severe gas fumes in their homes, fires in water wells, and a substantial impairment to their living environment. In July 2008, the plaintiffs reached a settlement with Premcor and Shell, two of the defendants, to settle the case for $16 million. In 2009, plaintiffs reached a $19.5 million settlement with defendant BP. In 2011, plaintiffs reached a settlement of $4 million against the remaining defendants, which include Apex Oil and Sinclair Oil. The total recovery in these cases is $39.5 million.

Burn Injury Cases

Case Results

$5,700,000 Settlement
Wrongful Death Fuel-Fed Fire/Explosion
Rolfe v. Daimler-Chrysler Motors Corp., et al.,

Stueve Siegel Hanson prosecuted and settled a wrongful death case involving the death of a young husband and father. Our client was rear ended by a drunk driver while our client was stopped at a traffic signal sitting in his Jeep Cherokee. After being rear ended, our client's vehicle burst into flames and he was burned alive because he could not escape the vehicle as the doors were jammed. The case was brought against the drunk driver that rear-ended our client, the drunk driver's employer who permitted him to drive while in the course and scope of employment, the local tavern/bar that served the drunk driver all of his drinks, and the manufacturer of our client's vehicle. Our clients were awarded $5.7 million as a result of the settlement, trial and appeal.

Dangerous Prescription Drug Cases

Case Results

Dangerous Prescription Drug Class Action
Plubell, et al. v. Merck & Co., Inc.,

Stueve Siegel Hanson represents a Missouri statewide class action on behalf of all Missouri purchasers of Vioxx, the Cox-2 pain reliever that Merck pulled off the market after the FDA identified several misleading sales practices used by Merck to market the product.

Railroad Crossing Accident Cases

Case Results

Confidential Settlement
Wrongful Death Railroad Accident
Greenhalgh v. Union Pacific Railroad,

Stueve Siegel Hanson sued UP and others for the wrongful death of our client's son. The Plaintiff's son was killed at age 17 when he was struck by an AMTRAK train that was traveling on tracks owned, operated and maintained by Union Pacific. He was walking near the tracks on his way to work when he was struck by an AMTRAK train traveling 70 m.p.h. through a residential portion of Independence, Missouri. Plaintiff alleged that the UP knew or should have known that the public used UP's right of way in and around the area of tracks at issue for numerous years. Plaintiff alleged that: UP failed to erect fences to keep people from using UP's railroad tracks as a walkway; UP failed to erect signs to warn people not to use UP's railroad tracks as a walkway; UP failed to issue a slow order near the location where he was killed despite the local hazard of nearby housing in a residential setting and notice of prior pedestrian activity and accidents at or near the location of the accident; UP failed to keep a careful lookout for pedestrians; UP failed to warn him of their approach by blowing an emergency whistle; and UP failed to slow or stop in time to avoid killing him. Within weeks of trial, the case was settled for a confidential amount.

Trailer Accident Cases

Case Results

Confidential Settlement
Wrongful Death Trailer Accident
Lewis v. Door Systems Inc., et al.,

Stueve Siegel Hanson sued Door Systems, Inc. and its owners for the wrongful death of Mr. Lewis. In the morning of January 4, 2006, a runaway 2-ton trailer collided head-on into Mr. Lewis' 1999 Ford Explorer and tragically decapitated and killed him while he was driving by himself in a southerly direction on US 50 Highway. The 2-ton trailer was improperly attached to a 2001 GMC Sierra pickup traveling north, on U.S. 50 Highway. The lawsuit claimed that Defendants failed to conduct even a cursory inspection of the trailer and truck prior to operating the vehicle that would have revealed the improper ball and hitch assembly, the improper installation and use of the safety chain, and the unconnected safety cable and electronic braking device on the home made 2-ton trailer. Within weeks of trial, we settled with all defendants for a confidential amount.

Trucking Accident Cases

Case Results

$8,000,000 Jury Verdict
Semi-Truck Wrongful Death
Michelle Taliaferro, et al. v. Green Valley Transportation,

Christopher Taliaferro was traveling westbound on US Hwy 50 in Jackson County on a John Deere tractor when he was struck from behind by a semi-truck operated by Carol Klaudt and owned by Green Valley Transportation. Carol Klaudt took no measures to avoid striking Chris Taliaferro and the tractor he was driving. Chris Taliaferro died as a result of the injuries he sustained in the wreck.

The driver, Carol Klaudt, had only a few months of experience as a truck driver. She had worked as a waitress and in an office prior to becoming a co-driver with her husband. Green Valley Transportation violated its hiring requirement of two years of experience for drivers when it hired Carol Klaudt. The case was tried to a jury verdict in Jackson County, Missouri. In the first phase of the trial, the jury awarded $8,000,000 of actual damages and found that punitive damages had been proved. After the second phase of the trial in which evidence to support punitive damages was introduced, the case settled before the jury returned with the punitive damages award. Plaintiffs were Chris' wife and parents.

$2,375,000 Settlement
Semi-Truck Wrongful Death
Terri Starbuck, et al. v. Gilster-Mary Lee Corp., et al.,

Terri Starbuck's daughter, Shyla Brannan, was a team semi-truck driver with her husband, Zach Brannan. While Zach was driving their semi-truck along Interstate 44, Shyla was sleeping in the sleeper birth of the truck. At the same time, a semi-truck operated by John E. Richardson and owned by Gilster-Mary Lee merged onto Interstate 44, failed to yield and collided into the passenger side of the Brannan's semi-truck. The violent collision ripped the Brannan's truck to shreds and threw Shyla from the truck. Shyla died that evening shortly after the collision.

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