Connie Daniell climbed into the trunk of her 1973 Ford Ltd and closed it behind her, intent on committing suicide. However, after a subsequent change of mind, she was distressed to find that Ford hadn’t fitted a release handle on the inside of the trunk. When she was finally released 9 days later, she sued Ford for negligence. Frivolous lawsuits like this continue to plague the auto manufacturer. According to a recent survey by Premonition Analytics, Ford has the dubious distinction of being one of the most sued car manufacturers in the USA in 2017.
Ford also has less litigation than every other domestic manufacturer except Tesla(a recent study found that Tesla’s were 40% less likely to crash than other cars). However Ford won just 33% of their cases compared to General Motors, America’s most sued auto manufacturer that has more than 14 times Ford’s litigation, but achieved an impressive 93% win rate. BMW was the top litigation performer, winning all 9 of their cases in the study, also at the fastest pace, just 47 days, comparing nicely to the leisurely 567 days that Toyota usually took to close their cases.
Premonition is the world’s largest litigation database and a leader in the field of legal analytics. The company claims to know which lawyers are strong performers in front of which Judges. According to their website, this gives their corporate clients “A very, very unfair advantage in litigation”.
“There are great discrepancies within industries of how General Counsel are performing in their litigation.”, Premonition Co-Founder Toby Unwin explains. “We found that this is even reflected in a company’s stock market performance. A basket of litigation winners nearly always outperforms a basket of losers. The effect is quite pronounced and can be tracked several months in advance.” Unwin claims that changing counsel can have a significant effect on litigation performance if the track record of lawyers before the relevant judges is closely examined.
The report is the first time that litigation win rates of companies have been published for comparison. In the near future, Premonition plans to release their findings on top litigants in other industries along with their win rates.
“Choice of Counsel affects 30.7% of the average case outcome”, claims Premonition Business Development Director, Nathan Huber. “Analytics allows companies to deploy their litigation resources most effectively, putting the right lawyer in front of the right Judge. It’s the opportunity to turn a 50/50 litigation portfolio into an 80/20 one.”
Source: Investor Place