Hyundai Crash Victim Families Score $240 Million Punitive Verdict

Hyundai was hit with $248 million in damages, including a $240 million punitive award, for the deaths of two cousins in a 2011 crash that was allegedly caused by a weak component in the steering mechanism of the Hyundai Tiburon they were driving.

The Montana court found that the 2005 Tiburon contained a manufacturing defect in the right front steering knuckle that failed and caused the car to swerve across a median into oncoming traffic. The teenage driver, Trevor Olson, and his younger cousin, Tanner Olson, died in the crash, as did a woman in the oncoming vehicle.

The jury determined that the parents of the victims were entitled to $1 million and their sibling received $500,000 each to compensate for the wrongful deaths. The verdict also awarded $2.6 million for Trevor’s Olson’s lost earnings.

The jury then hit Hyundai with a separate $240 million punitive damages verdict for “actual malice,” in line with the plaintiffs’ argument at truck that the company chose not to recall the knuckles to boost its bottom line.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident due to a defective part, contact our experienced lawyers for a free case evaluation today.

Read more about this verdict.


Dear friends and clients,

In furtherance of our firms culture of commitment to always act with compassion, concern and commitment to our clients, community and colleagues, we have been taking precautions to ensure that we are still fulfilling our ethical and moral obligations while prioritizing health, wellness and safety of all we can. 

As you know, the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced changes to many lives and businesses in our communities, and around the world. We, much like our neighbors and friends, have been taking precautions to ensure that we are still fulfilling our ethical and moral obligation to our clients, while also prioritizing the health, wellness and safety of our employees.

Until further notice, our offices will be closed to the public to encourage social distancing and to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Our team is still hard at work, many from home, and you may still call, email, live chat or video conference us if you or a loved one is seeking legal assistance. As the first law firm to offer our clients secure online access to their case file more than a decade ago, we have always been believers in using technology to make life easier and information more accessible. In these present times it has been a smooth transition for us to continue to offer our clients the same seamless and thorough service that you deserve and are accustomed to.

This pandemic is unlike anything any of us have faced in our lifetimes, and while we can continue to emotionally support one another through it all, staying home and keeping your distance is vital to the health and wellness of our communities. It does not feel good to break routines, cancel events and retreat from our normal, day-to-day socializing, but let us remember that, in times of strife, prior generations were asked to go to war and we are simply being asked to stay home. Your isolation equals more lives saved, and more time for medical providers to prepare for the treatment of patients battling COVID-19.

When the dust settles, we will join together with a greater appreciation for our lives, local businesses, loved ones and health. Until then, we will continue to offer guidance from a safe distance.

Very truly yours,

Andrew G. Finkelstein and the staff of Jacoby & Meyers, LLP