Margie Daniel, et al. v. Ford Motor Company
In one of the few automobile defect class actions to go to trial, Analysis Group was retained to work with Ford Motor Company to present testimony at trial related to liability, causation, and damages. Plaintiffs, purchasers of model year 2005–2011 Ford Focus vehicles, claimed that a design flaw in the car's rear suspension affected the alignment and caused the tires to wear out unevenly and prematurely, presenting safety hazards for consumers. As a result, they alleged, maintenance costs were higher than expected for Focus owners, and the value of the cars was diminished. An Analysis Group team worked with Ford's counsel, both in the class certification phase and during the trial. Using data for fleet vehicles to assess maintenance costs and used car prices to address the claim of diminution in value, the team – which included Managing Principal Bruce Strombom, Principal Mark Gustafson, and Manager Nathan Trujillo – demonstrated that the depreciation of the accused vehicles was no different than comparable vehicles, and critiqued plaintiffs' methodology for proving damages on a class-wide basis. Following an 11-day trial, a California federal jury cleared Ford of all claims.