Another Defense Verdict: Sutter O’Connell Successfully Defends Case in Henderson, Kentucky

Posted on November 6th, 2015 by Kevin W. KitaKevin Kita

On November 4, 2015, a 12-member jury in the Circuit Court of Henderson County, Kentucky found in favor of the Defendant-manufacturer in a Kentucky Lemon Law/Breach of warranty action.

The case arose out of Plaintiffs Michael and Mary Johnson’s purchase of a new 2014 Dodge Ram 1500 with an eco-diesel engine.  Shortly after its purchase, the Johnsons brought their vehicle to authorized dealerships for service seven times due to the illumination of the vehicle’s check engine light.  Mr. and Mrs. Johnson alleged the repeated illumination of the light was indicative of an ongoing defect in the vehicle’s emission system that the Defendant failed to repair in a reasonable time under warranty.

On behalf of the Defendant, evidence and testimony was presented that the light was initially triggered by software in the vehicle’s emission’s system that was more sensitive than it needed to be, not by a mechanical defect.  This issue was corrected through a software update and paid for under warranty.  The evidence also showed the latter check engine light illumination was the result of unrelated components that were also timely and properly replaced pursuant to the warranty terms.  In the end, the vehicle’s use, value, and safety was never impaired and the Plaintiffs’ vehicle was fixed at no cost to Plaintiffs.

Plaintiffs sought repurchase of the vehicle in addition to attorney’s fees and costs associated with the litigation.  After an efficient eight hours of evidence and testimony, the jury deliberated for only 22 minutes before returning a verdict on all counts in favor of the manufacturer.  Sutter O’Connell attorneys Daniel Bray and Kevin Kita represented the manufacturer