Michael Caddell, Cynthia Chapman, and John Scofield successfully prosecuted claims in Los Angeles, California against Ford Motor Company and Budget Rent A Car Systems, Inc. arising from the rollover of a 2004 Ford E350 van. The case arose after 21 family members rented three vans and drove from California to Texas. While in West Texas, the driver of the middle van drove off of the highway, while family members in the other vans watched. Due to the instability of the van, the driver was unable to regain control of the vehicle. In the rollover event that followed, the van’s passenger doors unlatched and opened, all of the van’s windows shattered, and several of the seat belts failed to restrain the occupants. Three children and one adult were ejected through the van’s open doors and windows, and all of the ejected passengers died. The four other occupants of the van were injured. The family alleged that Budget failed to follow its own protocols and to warn them of the inherent instability of the van. The family also alleged that the van was defective due to its instability and Ford’s failure to protect the passengers with proper doors, windows, and seat belts. The terms of the family’s settlement are confidential.
When I joined Michael Caddell, I was a young lawyer from California with a strong background in corporate defense litigation. From the defense side of the docket, rarely did I witness a plaintiffs’ lawyer champion his client’s case with the intelligence, strategy, compassion and fierceness that has become the well-known signature of Caddell & Chapman. Mike and I have striven to select lawyers who possess the perseverance, strong ethics, and natural talent required to successfully assert claims on behalf of clients who have been taken advantage of, whether they be the victims of commercial overreaching or of poorly designed products.