CA Supreme Court Upholds $25m Nissan Brakes Case

SACRAMENTO, Calif.–The California Supreme Court denied Nissan’s petition to appeal a $25 million verdict blaming faulty brakes for a car crash that killed three people and caused a wrongful manslaughter charge.

The verdict was upheld on Wednesday, May 15, 2019. This decision affirms the appeals court’s previous findings and makes the judgment final.

At time of publication, this is estimated to be the largest verdict against Nissan North America regarding the brake defect case, and potentially the fourth largest verdict ever against Nissan North America. has ranked the verdict at #5 on their list of the Top 10 car accident verdicts in California in 2017 and #15 on their list of the Top 20 verdicts in California in 2017. It is also ranked as #21 on the list of the top 50 plaintiff’s car accident jury verdicts obtained in the United States in 2017.

“By appealing, Nissan unnecessarily stretched out the legal process for those families who have lost their loved ones in a preventable tragedy that never should have happened,” said principal Ryan Lutz of Cory Watson Attorneys. “Now, the family can rest in the knowledge that this case has finally reached its end.”

The Los Angeles jury determined that the incident was 100 percent attributable to the braking system defect in the Infiniti QX56 SUV, and that Nissan was negligent in failing to recall the vehicle.

“Our firm is willing to fight until the very end of the appeals process for our clients,” said principal F. Jerome Tapley of Cory Watson Attorneys. “The California Supreme Court confirmed what we already knew – that Nissan should be held accountable for dangerous product defects like faulty brakes.”

The case, Cruz v. Nissan North America, et al., case number BC493949, was originally tried in July 2017 in the Superior Court of California for Los Angeles County.

“We hope this verdict inspires automotive manufacturers like Nissan to step up and take responsibility for the safety of their vehicles so that no one else is killed or injured because of a dangerous product defect they failed to reveal and recall,” said Adam W. Pittman of Cory Watson Attorneys.


David Kiley
David Kiley

David Kiley is Chief of Content for The BRAKE Report. Kiley is an award-winning business journalist and author, having covered the auto industry for USA Today, Businessweek, AOL/Huffington Post, as well as written articles for Automobile and Popular Mechanics.