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News & Resources

Archive: 2010

Ellis Speaks on Federal Preemption

Posted November 16, 2010 in News
In September 2010, Owen Gleaton partner, Philippa Ellis, spoke at American Conference Institute's 3rd National Advanced Forum on Automotive Product Liability Litigation on the topic "Tackling the Preemption Issue: Examining the Viability of the Defense in Auto Product Liability Cases," with co-panelists Nicholas Wittner (former Assistant General Counsel, Nissan North America) and David M. Rice (Partner, Carroll, Burdick & McDonough LLP).  The panel addressed how to successfully argue that an auto product liability case is preempted by the FMVSS, NHTSA regulations preempting the field by their inclusion of an express preemption provision in the Proposed Rule for FMVSS and the impact of this on the viability of the defense, how to look to the relevant NTMVSA and FMVSS language in determining whether there is a strong argument that common law claims are preempted, and the Williamson v. Mazda litigation.

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Ellis Wins Defense Verdict for Ford Motor Company

Posted November 16, 2010 in News
On October 29, 2010, Ford Motor Company’s trial team, which included Owen Gleaton partner, Philippa Ellis, and Donohue Brown (Chicago) partners, Mark Boyle and John Krivicich, won a unanimous defense verdict involving a wrongful death claim in Cobb County, Georgia.  Plaintiffs alleged the vehicle’s driver's seat back was defective when it deformed rearward in a rear-end collision.  The jury agreed that Ford's seat design was a reasonably safe design, yielding seats are better than stiff seats in terms of overall safety, and that the seat was designed to yield in a rear-end collision to absorb energy and minimize injuries to occupants.

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Seaborn Jones Honored by Atlanta Bar Association

Posted August 20, 2010 in News
The Atlanta Bar Association honored firm founder W. Seaborn Jones with a Leadership Award at the Piedmont Driving Club on August 20, 2010.  The award is presented to members who inspire by their example, challenge by their deeds, and remind us all of our debt to our profession and our community. 

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