Reynolds v. Nissan
(August 2013)

Keith W. McDaniel and Quincy T. Crochet obtained summary judgment in favor of Nissan North America, Inc., in a lawsuit filed by Richard Reynolds in the 22nd Judicial District Court for the Parish of St. Tammany.  The case arose out of a five car accident which occurred on Louisiana Hwy. 22 in Mandeville, Louisiana, in March 2008.  After initially sideswiping a Honda Accord, the intoxicated operator of a Chevrolet Suburban collided with the rear left side of the plaintiff’s 2003 Infiniti G35.  The impact caused the G35 to collide with another car before coming to a rest off the roadway in a ditch.  Meanwhile, the driver of the Suburban continued and collided with several other vehicles.

Mr. Reynolds, who sustained personal injuries in the accident, later filed suit against his insurance carrier, an automobile auction company, Nissan and the operator of the Suburban.  As against Nissan, Reynolds alleged that his injuries were caused by unspecified defects in the vehicle’s supplemental restraint system.  To support his claim, Reynolds retained an expert, Dr. Claude R. Mount.  However, Nissan successfully moved to exclude Dr. Mount from trial on the basis that Dr. Mount lacks the experience to testify as an expert in supplemental restraint system performance.

Nissan subsequently moved for summary judgment.  Nissan argued that Reynolds lacked expert support for his defect claims.  Further, despite years of litigation Reynolds failed to develop or present any proof of a manufacturing defect, a design defect, a warnings defect or a warranty defect pursuant to the Louisiana Products Liability Act.  The trial court agreed and granted Nissan’s motion, dismissing it from the suit in August 2013.