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This case was initially tried to a downtown Los Angeles jury. That jury was unable to reach a verdict after a 4-week trial. The case was retried before a San Fernando jury.

Seventeen-year-old Miguel Loayza and his best friend Adrian Rodriguez were the driver and passenger in a VW beetle that was involved in an intersection collision. The VW caught fire. Mr. Rodriguez survived for several months, but ultimately expired from the injuries he sustained. Mr. Loayza sustained third degree burns to his face, neck and portions of his legs. A wrongful death and personal injury suit was brought against Volkswagen. Plaintiffs contended that the VW was defectively designed. Specifically, they contended that the VW’s fuel filler neck had too many connections and was located to close to the passenger compartment.

Mr. Loayza was in medical school and a PhD. program at the time of the second trial. He had extensive keliod scars to his face and neck. After four weeks of trial the jury found in favor of VW. Plaintiff’s were represented by Paul Tepper in the first trial and by Ian Herzog and Tom Yuhas in the retrial.