David T. Schaefer, partner at Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, has been named 2022 Defense Trial Lawyer of the Year by the Kentucky Trial Court Review.
Schaefer is recognized this year not for the numerosity of the cases that he tried but because it was significant and the potential damages were beyond enormous in a jurisdiction not known for being defense friendly. The case itself was a tragedy, three members of the same family (including a young child) being killed in a head on collision and two more were seriously hurt in a Christmas Eve head-on collision. The theory was that their Hyundai Tucson SUV had a defect in the bumper weld which led to its separation and failure - a crash worthiness case. The case was tried two weeks and the instructions were 25 pages long. It involved numerous expert witnesses and complex issues of causation.
There were the damages of the decedents as well as multiple consortium claims (husband and parents) to contend with. The matter was made more difficult as Joe Savage, a dean of the plaintiff's bar, led the prosecution of the case. Schaefer secured a defense verdict for Hyundai. The verdict survived post-trial motions and is now on appeal. The defense win of 2022. See Case No.6030.