What Does the Plaintiff Steering Committee Do for an Auto Recall Lawsuit?

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September 14, 2016
Colson Hicks Eidson

Colson Hicks Eidson Attorney Appointed as Lead Counsel for Personal Injury Track in Takata Airbag Product Liability Litigation

When a class action lawsuit or multidistrict litigation is filed, there can be hundreds of victims of a defective product that need representation. In order to keep these types of claims organized, a judge will appoint a group of lawyers to form a plaintiff steering committee. In this video, Miami car defect attorney Mike Eidson explains how his law firm is frequently appointed to steering committees, using examples from famous auto defect cases such as Toyota’s Takata airbag recall and Firestone tires.

Recently, Colson Hicks Eidson Attorney Curt Miner was appointed as lead counsel for the personal injury track in the Takata Airbag Product Liability Litigation. Our law firm serves clients nationwide from our office in Miami.

Video Transcription

Let me give you an example of Toyota. Over a hundred and fifty law firms applied to be on the plaintiff’s steering committee and the judge chose 18, and we had to go out to Santa Ana and we had all day and we had two minutes. We got to submit our application with our experience and then we got to make a two-minute speech and then after we were all finished, the next day the judge chose the people he wanted to be on the steering committee. That’s one way it happens. Another way it can happen is all the lawyers meet the day before they’re going to meet with the judge and the defendant for the first time and they decide themselves how it’s going to be done and then they make a recommendation to the judge, both how the steering committee should be set up and who should be on it. The judge in that case is either going to say thank you very much, I appreciate it, I adopt your plan or you have no idea what you’re doing, I’m not going to adopt your plan, I’m going to do it myself. In the Toyota case, Judge Selna, who is the judge who handled the case, he decided on who was going to be lead counsel, who was going to be liaison counsel, how these were going to be structured and who was going to be on it. He had it very hands-on. Where in the Firestone case, all the lawyers got together, there were hundreds of lawyers and we met the day before and it was a democracy we did. We came up with these two lawyers are going to be our lead counsel and then we decided each department we wanted to have. We wanted to have a treasury, we wanted to have a discovery committee, a trial committee, all these different committees and we named the people and then we put it together and we took it to the judge, and the judge adopted it so there wasn’t anything. We just got up and walked up and said here it is, judge. And the judge was shocked, I can’t believe you did this. It was because the lawyers got along very well, nobody was trying to fight for position on the steering committee. Contact our lawyers at 305-476-7400 or contact our website at Colson.com for more information.