The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the defense verdict obtained by PHMY in favor of Honda. In the 2009 lawsuit, the Plaintiff alleged she was ejected from her Honda Civic due to a defect in the seatbelt buckle that allowed it to become unlatched during an accident. PHMY Partners, Jeff Hawkins, and Grant McFarland tried the case in April 2009 in federal court in Amarillo, Texas. United States District Judge Mary Lou Robinson entered a take-nothing judgment in favor of Honda based on the jury’s finding that the Plaintiff was not actually wearing the seatbelt that she claimed was defective.
The Plaintiff appealed, arguing the jury was prejudiced by the admission of evidence that she used illegal drugs in the days before the accident. Affirming the judgment in favor of Honda, the Court of Appeals stated that the evidence was offered not to discredit the plaintiff’s testimony but to show she caused a one-car accident. Additionally, the Fifth Circuit Court found that the Plaintiff failed to show any harm caused by the admission of the evidence.
PHMY attorney, David Montpas, was the lead appellate lawyer for Honda. He argued the appeal before the Court of Appeals on June 8, 2010. Tracy Price v. American Honda Motor Co., et. al.