Decline in Motor Vehicle Product Liability Lawsuits

Number Latest Month 17
Percent Change from previous month -10.5%
Percent Change from 1 year ago -8.1%
Percent Change from 5 years ago -39.5%

Table 1. Motor Vehicle Product
Liability Civil Filings

The latest available data from the federal courts show that during August 2013 the government reported 17 new motor vehicle product liability civil filings. According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), this number is down 10.5 percent over the previous month when the number of civil filings of this type totaled 19.

The comparisons of the number of civil filings for motor vehicle product liability-related suits are based on case-by-case court records which were compiled and analyzed by TRAC (see Table 1).

When monthly 2013 civil filings of this type are compared with those of the same period in the previous year, their number was down 8.1 percent. Civil filings for August 2013 are lower than they were for the same period five years ago. Overall, the data show that civil filings of this type are down 39.5 percent from levels reported in August 2008.

Bar and line plot of fymon

Figure 1. Motor Vehicle Product Liability Civil Filings over the Last Five Years

The long term trend in motor vehicle product liability civil filings going back five years is shown more clearly in Figure 1. The vertical bars in Figure 1 represent the number of motor vehicle product liability civil filings of this type recorded each month. The superimposed line on the bars plots the six-month moving average so that natural fluctuations are smoothed out. One-year and five-year change comparisons are based upon the moving averages.

Pie chart of jurisdiction

Figure 2. Jurisdiction
for Civil Filings


Within limits set by Congress and the Constitution, the federal district courts have jurisdiction to hear cases falling under any one of several categories. The single largest number of civil filings of these matters through August 2013 was under the classification "Diversity", accounting for 76.5 percent of civil filings.

As shown in Figure 3, additional categories with substantial numbers of civil filings were "Federal Question" (17.6 percent), "U.S. Government Defendant" (5.9 percent).

Motor Vehicle Product Liability Cases

Table 2 lists all individual cases of this type for the month August 2013.

District Case Title Case Number Date Filed
Cal, C Brian Gilderman v. Yamaha Motor Corporation USA 8:2013cv01225 8/13/2013
Colorado Hoog v. Chrysler Group, LLC 1:2013cv02302 8/27/2013
Delaware J. R. et al v. General Motors LLC 1:2013cv01406 8/12/2013
Fla, M Wright v. United States of America 3:2013cv01023 8/23/2013
Fla, M Bentley v. Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. 6:2013cv01266 8/19/2013
Kansas McKellips et al v. Kumho Tire U.S.A., Inc. et al 2:2013cv02393 8/7/2013
La, W Kitchens v. Ford Motor Co 5:2013cv02446 8/9/2013
Minnesota Hybrid Transit Systems, Inc. v. Chizek Elevator and Transport, Inc. 0:2013cv02190 8/13/2013
Miss, S Scirocco et al v. Ford Motor Company 5:2013cv00128 8/23/2013
N. Y., S Savio v. Delpozzo et al 7:2013cv05606 8/9/2013
Ohio, N Vaughn v. Toyota Motor Corporation et al 1:2013cv01732 8/9/2013
Ohio, N Muir v. General Motors, LLC 3:2013cv01670 8/1/2013
S Car Donze v. General Motors LLC 6:2013cv02153 8/9/2013
S Car Ramirez v. Bridgestone Americas Tire Corporation et al 8:2013cv02233 8/16/2013
S Dakota Bishop et al v. The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company et al 5:2013cv05062 8/27/2013
Texas, N Hoxie et al v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. et al 3:2013cv03354 8/22/2013
Utah Anderson et al v. Western Trenchless 2:2013cv00727 8/1/2013
Table 2. Individual Motor Vehicle Liability Civil Cases

Each month, TRAC offers a free report focused on one area of civil litigation in the U.S. district courts. In addition, subscribers to the TRACFed data service can generate custom reports by district, office, nature of suit or federal jurisdiction via the TRAC Data Interpreter.

Report Date: September 27, 2013
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Copyright 2013, TRAC Reports, Inc.