Shook Represents Bus Manufacturers in Missouri Lawyers Weekly’s Top Defense Verdict of 2013


Shook, Hardy & Bacon lawyers secured a defense verdict for Thomas Built Buses, Inc. and Freightliner LLC in a consolidated trial in Missouri state court stemming from a school bus crash that resulted in two motorist fatalities and catastrophic injuries to two schoolchildren. Plaintiffs sought in excess of $50 million in economic damages, claiming the brake system and pedal configuration on the school bus were defective. Following an eight-week trial, the jury returned a defense verdict, ultimately siding with the defense theory that the driver of the bus inadvertently depressed the accelerator instead of the brake, that is, pedal misapplication. This case was named the top defense verdict in 2013 by Missouri Lawyers Weekly. Gleason v. Bendix Commercial Vehicle Sys., No. 7CV105-004627 (Cir. Ct., Clay Cnty. 2013).