Observers will get a chance to see among the best of the Utah personal injury bar– from both the plaintiff and defense sides– in a Utah personal injury trial that starts Monday in Judge Barry Lawrence’s courtroom in Salt Lake City.
The case is Lois Smith v. Volkswagen Southtowne et al., #130908362.
Ms. Smith, age 61, bought a Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen (diesel) in 2011 from Volkswagen Southtowne. That particular model, she claims, was subject to a recall because of a possibility of fuel lines leaking fuel onto engines. However, the car was sold to the plaintiff before the recall repairs were performed. (The defense disputes this particular car was subject to the recall.)
A couple of months later, Ms. Smith says she was driving the car to visit family in Washington state, and noticed an odd odor coming from the engine. She asserts that she had to stop in Oregon because of headaches, fatigue, and nausea. It turns out that, indeed, diesel fuel may have been leaking onto the engine (according to the plaintiff), and now Ms. Smith claims permanent brain damage injury from carbon monoxide poisoning. I expect most of the trial will concern the extent and causation of any brain injuries to the plaintiff.
As you might imagine, most of the brain injury allegations are hotly disputed. I recommend that you read the plaintiff’s and the defense’s memoranda on the motion for summary judgment on causation for a much better discussion of the claims and issues.
Judge Lawrence’s order on the various motions in limine is here.
Salt Lake City personal injury attorneys involved in the case:
This Salt Lake City personal injury trial is set to last nine days.