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Suzuki to pay $160M for 2013 brake failure case

Suzuki America has been ordered to pay more than $160 million to a Huntington Beach man who was seriously injured when the front brakes of his 2009 Suzuki GSX-R600 failed as he tried to avoid an SUV, according to a report in the Orange County Register.

In a civil case last month, a jury ruled that Thomas Joseph Soulliere should receive nearly $11 million for the crash. But another $150 million was awarded to Soulliere for punitive damages after his attorneys argued that Suzuki knew about the brake issues before the accident that caused the collision and didn’t recall the motorcycles until after the crash on June 8, 2013, the report says.

“I think the message is clear: If you are putting products out on the market and you know that something is wrong, you do something about it,” said Travis Davis, one of the attorneys who represented Soulliere. “Safety is more important than profit.”

This is the second time a jury has found Suzuki liable for the same case. A verdict from a trial in 2018 ordered Suzuki to pay Soulliere $8 million, including $6 million in punitive damages and $2 million in compensatory damages. However, the verdict was overturned on appeal, with several years of legal wrangling that led to a second trial that resulted in a much larger verdict.

Read the full story on Orange County Register’s website

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