Sedgwick has a national reputation for defending domestic and foreign automakers and suppliers in product liability and class action litigation. We have also defended manufacturers of other motor vehicles, including heavy trucks and buses.

To effectively represent manufacturers and suppliers of increasingly advanced and complex motor vehicles, attorneys must be strong advocates, experienced in defending the automobile industry, knowledgeable about the business issues confronting automobile manufacturers, and exercise sound judgment as a trusted advisors to these companies. Not only do our attorneys possess the necessary legal experience and knowledge of the automobile industry, including vehicle design and related technology, accident dynamics, occupant kinematics, biomechanics and injury causation issues; they have the capacity, commitment and desire to become well-versed in the specific technical subject matter of the case and our client’s products. Our attorneys stay abreast of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) rulemaking, consumer information and research activities on a regular basis. Sedgwick has also worked with (and against) most of the leading experts in automotive product liability litigation and has accumulated a wealth of important and valuable information about these experts.

The following lists many of the types of claims defended and comprehensive areas of automotive product liability litigation and consultation in which our attorneys have substantial experience.

Rollover Litigation

  • Handling and stability
  • Padding
  • Rollover resistance
  • Welding
  • On and off-road rollovers
  • Related belt design issues
  • Roof strength
  • Related door latch issues
  • Curtain airbags
  • Lift gate
  • Window and sunroof glazing
  • Advertising
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Warnings

Occupant Protection


  • Strength
  • Adjustable head rest
  • Recliner strength
  • Integrated head rest
  • Broken recliner
  • Seat track
  • Single side recliner

Seat Belts

  • Passive belts – motorized
  • Energy management loops

  • Passive belts – door mounted
  • Inadequate restraint
  • Inertial unlatching
  • Rear seat shoulder belt
  • False latch
  • Web grabber
  • Skip lock
  • GEN II and GEN III buckle design
  • Late lockup
  • Pretensioners
  • Comfort feature
  • Geometry
  • Submarining
  • Child restraint
  • Broken/torn webbing
  • Pregnant occupant
  • Anchor failure
  • Side curtain airbags


  • No airbag
  • Cervical injuries
  • Failure to deploy
  • Ocular injuries
  • Low threshold
  • Chemical sensitivity
  • Late deployment
  • Respiratory injury
  • Off-set impacts
  • Out-of-position occupants
  • Small-statured occupants
  • Depowering
  • Aggressive deployment


Vehicle Operation

Backover Cases

  • Backup sensors
  • Rearview monitors

Unintended/Sudden Acceleration

  • Pedal misapplication
  • Electronic throttle control
  • Cruise control

Park to Reverse Allegations

  • Transmission linkage
  • Selector spring pressure
  • Lever/shift gate design

Vehicle Fires

Post-Collision Fuel Fed Fires

  • Fuel lines and pumps
  • Tank placement
  • Tank material/durability


  • Brake performance
  • Brake Transmission
  • Shift Interlock (BTSI)
  • Tire delamination
  • Battery design and warnings
  • Radiators, heater cores and other HVAC components

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