Oral arg. – Miss.S.Ct. – May 16, 2017

At 1:30 the Court will hear Hyundai Motor Corp. v. Ola Mae Applewhite

This is a product liability case involving a 1993 Hyundai Excel.  At 8:00 a.m. on July 9, 1995, Dorothy Mae Applewhite, Cecilia Cooper, and Anthony Stewart were on Highway 61 going home after working the night shift at a casino.  A coworker in a car ahead of them saw the car weaving several times and then it swerved into the oncoming lane where it hit a Lincoln Continental tearing the  Hyundai into two pieces.  All three of the people in the Hyundai died.  Their relatives filed suit against Hyundai alleging the car was not crashworthy.  In 2008 the case went to trial and the jury awarded $1.5 million to each victim.  It was reversed on appeal  due to the plaintiff’s accident reconstructionist having  changed his opinion between his deposition and trial without the defendants being apprised.  The case was retried and the jury awarded $10.5 million.   The plaintiffs had a new accident reconstructionist who testified to a new theory. On appeal Hyundai argues that this expert should not have been allowed to testify under Daubert, that the trial court should not have excluded evidence that the occupants of the Hyundai were not wearing seatbelts, that the court should not have excluded Hyundai’s photographic evidence of other accidents wherein a vehicle split apart,  etc.

Hyundai brief

Applewhite brief

Hyundai reply brief

Watch the argument here

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