Trial Team in Defective Guardrail Case Earns National Recognition

LONGVIEW, Texas – Former federal Judge T. John Ward of Ward & Smith and other members of the trial team that won a resounding $175 million verdict in a lawsuit over a defective guardrail system are being highlighted by The American Lawyer magazine and Texas Lawyer newspaper for their roles in the milestone case.

In “Jury Delivers $175 Million Verdict for Whistleblower” (subscription required), Texas Lawyer details the hard-fought victory against Dallas-based Trinity Industries Inc. Jurors found the company liable for charging the Federal Highway Administration millions of dollars for a guardrail system that has been blamed for causing severe injuries to vehicle crash victims across the U.S.

Judge Ward played a significant role at trial on behalf of the whistleblower plaintiff and the federal government. In addition to presenting the plaintiffs’ opening statements, he also cross-examined the damages expert for Trinity Industries in one of the trial’s key moments.

The national legal publication The American Lawyer noted Judge Ward’s work in its “Litigator of the Week” column, which honored lead counsel Nicholas Gravante Jr. of Boies, Schiller & Flexner in New York.

In addition to Judge Ward and Mr. Gravante, the article also notes the efforts of the other members of the plaintiffs’ team, including Sam Baxter of McKool Smith in Dallas, and Boies, Schiller & Flexner partners George Carpinello of New York and Karen Dyer of Florida.

Longview, Texas-based Ward & Smith has tried more than 350 cases to verdict, earning a national reputation in high-stakes claims involving complex commercial litigation, intellectual property law, oil and gas matters, bad faith insurance claims, and serious personal injury claims. Ward & Smith frequently assists lawyers nationwide in complex cases before Texas juries.