Defective Parking Brakes Attorneys - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware - Fauly Brakes Lawyers

Cars and trucks often contain manufacturing defects that result in necessary repairs, recalls and, in some instances, serious injuries to drivers or auto occupants. Among these problems have been defective parking brakes. In one Pennsylvania case, a baby was run over by a Ford pickup truck after the parking brake failed and the vehicle rolled over the infant’s head. In another case, this one in Nevada, a three-year-old boy was killed when the parking brake of another Ford pickup suddenly disengaged and the vehicle rolled down a sloped driveway.

Both cases were litigated by Kline & Specter, PC. The first resulted in a substantial settlement (see the Bobb case), while the second, a celebrated case titled White v. Ford, went to trial and resulted in an initial verdict of $152 million against Ford Motor Co. Shanin Specter was the lead attorney in the White case, which was tried in Reno, Nev. When punitive damages in that case were reversed on appeal, Specter returned west and tried the case for a second time, this time winning again and obtaining a $52 million punitive damages award.

If you or someone you know was seriously hurt or killed because of an accident caused by a suspected defective parking brake, you may want to contact a defective brake attorney for a free evaluation of your case. Our attorneys represent victims in defective brakes lawsuits in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and nationwide.


Other Defective Brakes Cases of Note

A number of parking brake problems have cropped up over the years in a variety of cars and trucks.

  • In a more recent case in Pennsylvania, Specter again sued Ford over defective parking brakes, this time for the family of a tow truck operator who was killed when his vehicle's brakes failed and ran him over while he was attempting to tow a disabled pickup. A jury in Pittsburgh returned a verdict of $8.75 million. (Blumer)
  • A national class action was filed in 2005 against General Motors by owners of certain GM vehicles who had to pay about $500 apiece to replace parking brakes, also known as emergency brakes.
  • A year earlier, Hyundai Motor Co. was told to recall certain minivans because of defective parking brake cables in Trajet XG models built between 1999 and January 2004.

Some parking brake problems may have never come to light, cases may have been settled and still others might only be being discovered now.


What Is the Difference Between Defective Brakes and Negligent Driving?

Investigator holds defective brake pads while investigating manufacturer liability in a car accident product liability case.Defective Brakes: Defective brakes refer to a failure in a vehicle's braking system due to a flaw in design, manufacturing, or inadequate warnings/instructions. This can lead to accidents even if the driver was operating the vehicle responsibly.

Negligent Driving: Negligent driving, on the other hand, involves a failure to exercise reasonable care while driving, which includes not following traffic laws, driving distracted, or not maintaining the vehicle properly, such as ignoring necessary brake maintenance.

Our legal team will review all relevant factors to determine if you have a case. Identifying whether an accident was caused by defective brakes or negligent driving typically requires an investigation that may include:

  • Mechanical Inspection: A thorough check of the vehicle’s braking system to find any mechanical failures that could point to defects.
  • Maintenance Records: Reviewing the vehicle’s maintenance history can reveal whether the brakes were neglected.
  • Accident Reconstruction: Specialists may need to reconstruct the accident to determine the role of the brakes in the incident.

Manufacturer vs. Plaintiff Responsibility in Defective Brake Cases

Manufacturer Responsibility: If a brake defect is found, the manufacturer might be liable under product liability laws. This requires proving that the brakes were defective when they left the manufacturer and that this defect directly caused the accident.

Plaintiff Responsibility: The plaintiff (vehicle owner/driver) could be held responsible if negligent driving or poor maintenance is found to be the cause of the brake failure.

Does the Age of the Car Have an Impact on Proceedings?

The age of the vehicle can affect the proceedings in a defective brake case in several ways:

  • Warranty: Older vehicles are less likely to be under warranty, which might impact claims against the manufacturer.
  • Degradation: It could be argued that wear and tear over time led to brake failure, rather than a manufacturing defect.
  • State Laws: Some states have specific regulations about the liability concerning the age and condition of the vehicle at the time of the incident.

The Importance of Legal Representation in Defective Brake Cases

Navigating a defective brake case requires a deep understanding of the law and automotive technology. Here’s why skilled legal representation is vital:

  • Case Preparation: Gathering and presenting evidence such as expert testimonies, accident reports, and maintenance records.
  • Navigating Laws: Understanding and applying state-specific laws and regulations that affect the case.
  • Negotiating Settlements: Handling negotiations with manufacturers and insurance companies to reach a fair settlement.
  • Trial Advocacy: Representing the client's interests in court if a satisfactory settlement cannot be reached.

Kline & Specter, PC, with 60 attorneys, several of whom are also doctors, has experience and expertise in defective parking brake lawsuits. Call 800-243-1100 to speak with a member of our team today. Kline & Specter handles cases in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and New York. For cases outside those states, Kline & Specter works with local attorneys in each state as applicable.