On August 22, 2023, Watkins & Eager partners H. Lanier Brown, II and J. Patrick Strubel secured a unanimous defense verdict for Honda in a seat belt case.  The 7-day trial took place in the Circuit Court of Mobile County, Alabama.

The lawsuit arose out of a two-vehicle crash that resulted in the death of a passenger in a Honda minivan.  The decedent’s estate claimed the second row, right outboard passenger seat and seatbelt were defective.  In closing arguments, Plaintiff’s counsel asked the jury to return a verdict in excess of $9 million.  Honda contended the seat and seatbelt were safe and that Plaintiff’s proposed alternative designs would not have prevented the fatal injury.  The jury agreed the seat and seatbelt system were not defective and returned a unanimous verdict for Honda. 

Messrs. Brown and Strubel were assisted by Watkins & Eager associate Karmen E. Gaines and M. Warren Butler of the Starnes Davis Florie firm in Mobile, Alabama.