With the second trial date approaching, the Joye Law Firm was able to resolve the products liability case it was handling against Chrysler Corporation regarding the death of Sergio Jiminez. The case involved allegations of a defective rear door latch on Chrysler minivans. Five-year old Sergio was killed on April 10, 1994 as the result of being ejected through the rear door of a 1985 Dodge Caravan.

The case was initially tried in federal court in the fall of 1997. The firm received national publicity after the five-week trial when the jury returned a verdict of 262.5 million dollars against Chrysler Corporation. At the time, it was the largest verdict ever returned in a products liability claim against an automotive manufacturer. Subsequently, the United States Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit ordered that a new trial be held. “The 4th Circuit’s conservative reputation is well-known. The verdict of eight South Carolinians after hearing the evidence for five weeks speaks for itself,” said Mark Joye, one of the lead trial attorneys for the case.

The case had been set for a re-trial beginning July 15, 2002, when it was settled for an undisclosed and confidential amount. “We are glad to have this case resolved for the family,” said Joye. “More importantly, we are proud of the changes this verdict led many automotive manufacturers to make.”

About the Author

Mark Joye is the Head of the Litigation Department at the Joye Law Firm. A Board-Certified Trial Advocate with nearly 30 years of litigation experience, he currently serves on the Board of Governors for the American Association for Justice and is a past president of the South Carolina Association for Justice. In a recent trial, Joye headed a trial team that secured $17 million for a family killed in a tractor-trailer accident.

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