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Greenberg Traurig & Mercedes-Benz AG

Working with Mercedes-Benz AG

We designed this client micro-site to help inform Mercedes-Benz AG about our broader practice capabilities. The information provided on this micro-site highlights our global product liability and class action experience, commitment to diversity and the various ways we provide real value and service to our clients.

Our Global Product Liability and Class Action Practice

Our team includes over 200 attorneys in 43 offices across the globe, including in each of Mercedes-Benz AG ’s major markets. The team is annually ranked by Chambers USA and Legal 500 U.S. within the top tiers for Product Liability and Class Action. Our attorneys have handled some of the biggest product liability and class action lawsuits worldwide, including representing a manufacturer of infant products in a number of areas including before Congress; representing Hyundai in four significant class actions; and a FCPA investigation that involved 24 countries and 11 markets.

What follows is a selection of representative experience to further illustrate the scope of GT’s practice and platform that we can lend to this valued client relationship with Mercedes-Benz AG. We look forward to the opportunity to expand our partnership and are at the ready to hit the ground running.

Industry Sector Experience

Greenberg Traurig attorneys are experienced in handling a wide-range of automotive litigation matters across the country and internationally. Our wide-ranging industry experience and the firm’s national resources and reach enable us to offer an array of legal services to automotive manufacturers and components manufacturers around the country. We defend automotive industry companies against litigation, from products liability, consumer and employee claims, such as financing issues or discrimination charges, to tax issues and class action suits. When it comes to litigation, our most valuable counsel is also preventative: we advise our clients on effective ways to minimize the risk of litigation.

  • Represented Hyundai in a consumer class action alleging false advertising/violation of consumer protection statutes/breaches of warranty in connection with sale of Hyundai Palisade. GT won its motion to compel arbitration of claims of all California plaintiffs under equitable estoppel theory. This was also significant because it was the first time the client had tested its arbitration terms and formation theory.
  • Acted as lead counsel for dozens of cases for Ford Motor Company for breach of warranties regarding transmissions and diesel engines. These were highly contested, expert-intensive cases that have been litigated for years, and included multiple month-long jury trials this year in California state courts.
  • Represented an automobile finance company in a putative nationwide class action alleging claims of consumer fraud, common law fraud and unjust enrichment relating to the alleged non‐disclosure of “total loss” claims paid on vehicles that were repossessed and resold. On appeal, we obtained affirmance of the trial court’s dismissal of all claims with prejudice by advocating the inclusion of knowledge as an element to each of the plaintiffs’ proposed claims and demonstrating the plaintiffs’ inability to satisfy their pleading obligations with respect to the element of knowledge.
  • Representation of a Korean automobile manufacturer as coordinating discovery in a series of investigations, class actions and MDL proceedings alleging overstatement of fuel economy values. 
  • Represented SGS Automotive, an automotive testing company, and led the trial team in a three‐week trial that resulted in a defense verdict dismissing $150 million consumer class action by 3.5 million car owners who had alleged company failed to test seat belts properly.
  • Represented Avis Rent A Car System and Budget Rent A Car System in two nationwide putative class actions alleging imposition of hidden surcharges for rewards programs offered in connection with rental car Contracts.
  • Fuccillo Automotive Group, Inc. Representation of client in the defense of a putative class action brought against automobile dealerships for alleged violations of the federal Truth-in-Lending Act and N.Y. General Business Law § 349.
  • Represented General Motors and Suzuki Motor Corporation in a products liability action pending in Palm Beach County.
  • Automotive Parts and Products Clients. Achieved precedential decisions for Defendants in Robinson-Patman Act Cases. We successfully defended perhaps the two most expansive price discrimination cases in history (in the automotive parts and products sector), involving more than 150 plaintiffs in each case and literally thousands of products – causing plaintiffs to voluntarily dismiss our client before trial in one case and obtaining a court-ordered dismissal in the other. We also were the lead counsel in obtaining a District Court ruling that class actions cannot proceed under the Robinson-Patman Act, including for injunctive relief (an issue of first impression).
  • Represented a Japanese automobile manufacturer in a California‐related warranty/Lemon Law matter. In this situation, we assigned a team of associates coupled with a paralegal set up to handle most of the work to keep the costs down for our client. Instruction and oversight was handled by a shareholder, and experienced negotiators stepped in at key moments to minimize exposure.
  • Represented an automobile manufacturer as co-lead trial counsel in five-week jury trial in Wisconsin state court. The plaintiff, an insurance executive, lost control of his car, resulting in a rollover accident that rendered him a quadriplegic. The plaintiff claimed that his paralyzing injuries were caused by a defectively designed roof structure that collapsed during the rollover and by the seatbelt system that allegedly inadequately restrained him during the accident. At trial, the plaintiff asked for more than $11 million in compensatory damages and also argued for punitive damages. The case resulted in a defense verdict.
  • Representation of a Korean automobile manufacturer as coordinating discovery counsel in connection with products liability cases alleging improper design of gas tank and fuel system causing fire. The cases are currently pending in Texas and California. Greenberg Traurig’s role has been to coordinate the preservation, collection and review of materials in connection with these cases to ensure that the responses are consistent across all of the defense firms. 
  • Represented automobile manufacturers in multiple product liability trials involving claims pertaining to SUV rollover, ignition switch fires, and static electricity explosion.
  • Represented a national automotive company in a putative nationwide collective action filed in the Middle District of Florida under the FLSA seeking overtime compensation allegedly due and owing as a result of employer’s alleged misclassification of Service Managers as exempt employees.
  • Won defense verdict for an automobile manufacturer in a four-week jury trial in a Chicago federal court against alleged design defects when two men died and one suffered severe brain damage and paralysis after a rollover accident. The plaintiffs sought damages in excess of $23 million. The National Law Journal named this case as one of the top 15 defense verdicts of 1999.
  • Represented an automobile manufacturer in a jury trial in federal court in Chicago against a claim that the airbag system in a car was defective and caused severe injuries to the plaintiff in a high-speed accident. The trial resulted in a defense verdict. This was one of the first cases of its kind to be tried, and thus was an important victory for the automotive industry.
  • Represented American Honda Motor Co., Inc. in its defense of a multidistrict litigation case out of Maryland. Additionally, we have represented American Honda in numerous consumer litigation cases.
  • Won defense verdict as first chair in jury trial in Illinois state court in Cook County on behalf of an automobile manufacturer against allegations that its defective vehicle steering system caused a high-speed crash, seriously injuring the driver and her two children.

Some of the matters cited above were handled by our lawyers prior to joining Greenberg Traurig.

Awards & Accolades

GT’s dedication to client service is evidenced by our attorney and practice awards and accolades. Recent recognition includes:

  • GT’s Products Liability & Mass Torts Practice is annually ranked by Legal 500 U.S. within the top tiers for Product liability, mass tort and class action.
  • GT’s Products Liability & Mass Torts Practice has been designated “Litigation Department of the Year” by American Lawyer Media’s Daily Report 5 times.
  • GT won Law360’s 2021 Practice Group of the Year award in Product Liability.
  • Greenberg Traurig’s Class Action Litigation Practice is ranked Band 2 by Chambers USA for Product Liability: Consumer Class Actions.

As we further develop our relationship with Mercedes-Benz AG, we look forward to introducing you to new attorneys across our platform and discussing with you in greater detail the ways in which we plan to partner with Mercedes-Benz AG to further expand our engagement, provide greater efficiencies, and deliver increased value.