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Date: 05-04-2023

Case Style:

Kamiya Perry v. Kia Motors America, Inc.

Case Number: 30-2019-01081281

Judge: Nancy E. Zeltzer

Court: Superior Court, Orange County, California

Plaintiff's Attorney:

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Defendant's Attorney: James S. Azadian, Cory L. Webster, James Feeney and Dommond E. Lonnie

Description: Santa Ana, California personal injury lawyers represented Plaintiff who sued Defendant on a product liability theory.

On April 21, 2019, Perry was seated in the front passenger seat of a 2015 Kia Forte (Forte). The car was being driven in the middle lane of a three-lane highway.[1] The driver decided to make a U-turn from that lane, which involved cutting across the left lane to reach the lanes moving in the opposite direction. Unfortunately, another car was driving in that left lane, and as the Forte turned perpendicular to the left lane, the other car, which was driving 50 miles per hour, smashed into the driver's side of the Forte, causing a T-bone accident. The Forte at first skidded down the highway, then tripped on the passenger side wheels, initiating a rollover in the direction of the passenger side. The Forte underwent a half roll, coming to rest upside down.

As a result of the crash, Perry suffered a brain injury. According to Kia's biomechanical expert, this was a result of a blow that caused swelling to the left side of her head. The blow was caused by Perry's head striking the driver's seat to her left. Perry's theory, which the jury apparently rejected, was that her head struck the ceiling.

Perry filed suit against Kia. Although the complaint is not in our record, the causes of action brought to trial were design defect and negligence.

Outcome: The trial began on May 18, 2021, and concluded on July 22, 2021. After the parties rested, the trial court reconsidered the jury instruction Perry had requested. The court rejected the instruction, concluding it would be a distraction from the primary issues regarding design defect that the jury had to decide. The jury returned a complete, unanimous defense verdict.

Affirmed on appeal.

Plaintiff's Experts:

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