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Our firm’s founder, Russ Reiner, rose to national prominence in 1984 when he obtained a $3.9 million verdict against American Motors Corporation (AMC) in a fatal rollover accident case involving the Jeep CJ-5. Mr. Reiner proved that AMC knew that they had defectively designed their vehicle with a high center of gravity and narrow track width which caused the vehicle to rollover during normal expected road maneuvering. Mr. Reiner’s final argument in the case was selected and published in Million Dollar Arguments to teach other attorneys how to effectively represent persons catastrophically injured or killed as a result of defectively designed vehicles that rollover.

The verdict against AMC was the largest verdict rendered against the manufacturer at the time. It was also one of the first verdicts rendered against American Motors Corporation that eventually led the company to halt production of the unsafe CJ-5 and CJ-7. As a result, starting in 1988 AMC Jeep redesigned its vehicles with a much safer lower center of gravity and wider track width.

Since that verdict, Mr. Reiner has handled over twenty Jeep CJ-5 and CJ-7 cases involving catastrophic injuries and death throughout the country. In addition, Mr. Reiner has successfully represented numerous catastrophically injured persons and their families in death cases in rollover accidents against Chrysler and Ford. Mr. Reiner has been dedicated to forcing the auto industry to make cars and trucks safer and more crash-worthy for the American public.

The rollover attorneys at Reiner, Slaughter & Frankel LLP have successfully represented numerous injured persons and their families in motor vehicle accident cases against Chrysler, Ford, Nissan, General Motors and Volkswagen where catastrophic injuries or death have resulted.

The Rollover Phenomena

Each year approximately 250,000 rollover accidents occur in the United States. It has been estimated that, in these rollovers, approximately 10,000 occupants are killed and more than 17,000 suffer catastrophic injuries, including spinal cord and brain injuries that lead to quadriplegia, paraplegia and permanent cognitive disorders. The rollover attorneys at Reiner & Slaughter have been closely monitoring these startling statistics for many years, as well as the design and manufacturing features that contribute to these horrific events. These disturbing trends continue on the American highways.

Sports Utility Vehicles and Pickup Trucks

With the growing popularity of Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) and pickup trucks in America, the risk of involvement in a rollover accident has been continually increasing in recent years. A recent study revealed that 61 percent of SUV crash fatalities and 45 percent of pickup truck accident fatalities occurred during a rollover crash. The number of these fatalities is two to three times higher than what occurs when passenger vehicles rollover.

The catastrophic rollover injuries usually correlate with one or more of the following factors:

  • Poor vehicle stability following an abrupt, though usually not dangerous, turning maneuver, such as when avoiding a road hazard or another vehicle
  • A vehicle’s high center of gravity making it prone to rollover
  • Loss of control and consequent rollover following unexpected tire failure or tread separation
  • Excessive roof crush during the rollover sequence, causing severe head or spinal injuries
  • Poor seatbelt geometry that allows the occupant to violently impact the vehicle interior or roof
  • Poor occupant containment, such as door latches, windows, or occupant restraints that fail, allowing ejection or other traumatic impact with objects external to the rolling vehicle
  • Poor structural integrity or design of “safety” features, such as the rollbar

15 Passenger Van

Another vehicle that has shown a dangerous tendency to rollover is the 15-passenger van. These are vans that are commonly used to transport traveling athletic teams, tour services, church groups or passengers at airports. Unfortunately, these vehicles have a very high center of gravity, particularly when occupied by 10 or more passengers.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently re-issued a consumer advisory warning that these vans, when loaded with 10 or more passengers, are three times more likely to rollover in a single vehicle accident than when lightly loaded (5 passengers or less). Since drivers of these vans do not require any special licensing or training, they often do not recognize the unique handling characteristics of these vans, which increases the risk of rollover. In addition, since it is common for people in large vans to not utilize available seat belts, the chances of ejection or catastrophic brain or spinal injury increase exponentially.

Contact Our Experienced Redding Product Liability Attorneys

Product manufacturers, especially vehicle makers, are often large companies that can afford the costs associated with representation by defense attorneys, private investigators, and other experts. At Reiner, Slaughter & Frankel, our Redding attorneys, Northern California product liability and rollover accident attorneys believe that you deserve the same level of legal representation that these corporations receive. With our years of work in the automobile product liability and rollover accident fields, we have developed working relationships with the top automotive engineers and safety experts in the country. Let us put these resources to work for you!

To learn more about working with a Redding lawyers skilled in product liability or rollover cases, or to schedule a free case consultation and case review, contact our Northern California personal injury attorneys law firm today.


If you’ve been injured in an accident, contact Reiner, Slaughter & Frankel LLP Today

The information disclosed in this correspondence does not constitute or create a lawyer-client relationship.

About Us


Reiner, Slaughter & Frankel LLP is a nationally recognized law firm located in Redding, California. The firm has achieved a peer-reviewed listing as Pre-Eminent Law Firm by Martindale-Hubbell. Two of our lawyers have been recognized in Northern California Super Lawyers. Reiner, Slaughter & Frankel LLP has won over 98 percent of the cases that have gone to trial.


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Reiner, Slaughter & Frankel LLP is located on the Sacramento River on Park Marina Drive in the Riverbridge Building; East of the River Vista Center.

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