Automotive Litigation

Legal Team

Automotive Legal Team

Steve_W_BermanSteve W. Berman, Managing Partner

Steve Berman was appointed co-lead counsel in the massive MDL alleging that Toyota vehicles contained a defect causing sudden, unintended acceleration – In re: Toyota Motor Corp. Unintended Acceleration MDL. Berman was selected by Judge Selna without having applied for the leadership position for his expertise in complex, sprawling class-action litigation. The case culminated in the largest automotive settlement in history  at that time – $1.6 billion, that Judge Selna called, “extraordinary because every single dollar in the cash fund will go to claimants.”

Berman was named to a leadership position in the class-action lawsuit brought against VW for its use of emissions on behalf of tens of thousands of owners, and is also co-lead counsel in the high-profile ignition-switch litigation against GM, representing vehicle owners who have suffered tremendous loss of vehicle value. Steve led the firm's aggressive fight against Hyundai and Kia on behalf of defrauded consumers who alleged the automakers had misrepresented fuel economies in vehicles, securing a groundbreaking $255 million settlement believed to be the third-largest automotive settlement in history. Judge Jose L. Linares also appointed the firm as interim class counsel in the case against Mercedes concerning emissions of its BlueTEC diesel vehicles. more »

thumbnail_Elaine_Byszewski_Hagens_Berman_AttorneyELAINE T. BYSZEWSKI, PARTNER

Ms. Byszewski has litigated a number of complex class actions on behalf of consumers, employees and whistleblowers resulting in multimillion dollar settlements, including cases against Toyota, AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, Berkeley Premium Nutraceuticals, Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Costco, Apple and KB Homes. She was a member of team that settled Toyota Unintended Acceleration Litigation for $1.6 billion and was a finalist for Public Justice’s Trial Lawyer of the Year award.

Her notable cases also include Ford Spark Plugs, as well as multiple cases against Hyundai for a dangerous safety defect in the side air bag system of its Tiburon model vehicles, as well as class-action lawsuit against Hyundai Motor America and Kia Motor Company after regulators announced the companies overstated the fuel economy for many vehicles they sold in the United States, culminating in a settlement worth more than $255 million. more »

THOMAS E. LOESER, PARTNER

Mr. Loeser is a partner at Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro where his practice focuses on class actions, consumer protection and automotive litigation. He has been involved in the pending MDL brought against Volkswagen for its use of a "defeat device" to illegally cheat emissions tests and is also currently prosecuting consumer protection class-action cases against banks, automobile manufacturers, lenders, loan servicing companies, technology companies, national retailers, payment processors and False Claims Act whistleblower suits now under seal. His notable cases also include Honda Civic Hybrid Litigation and Hyundai MPG Litigation. more »

SEAN R. MATT, PARTNER

Sean Matt leads the firm's innovation in organizing and prosecuting individual class cases across many states involving the same defendants and similar factual and legal issues, an approach that continues to be a key factor in the firm's success. His practice focuses on multi-state and nationwide class actions and complex commercial litigation encompassing securities and finance, consumer, antitrust, insurance and products. He has been a driving force in the firm's case against Mercedes concerning emissions of its BlueTEC diesel vehicles.

Mr. Matt has diverse experience in most of the firm’s practice areas, involving appearances in state and federal courts across the country at both the trial and appellate levels and in 2014, Public Justice nominated Mr. Matt and the In re Toyota Motor Corp. Sudden, Unintended Acceleration team for their work in securing a $1.6 billion settlement of car owners. more »

JERROD C. PATTERSON, OF COUNSEL

Mr. Patterson brings to the firm extensive trial experience and a history of prosecuting complex fraud cases and assists the firm in its automotive and emissions cases, including national cases alleging that Fiat Chrysler has cheated emissions testing in its Dodge RAM vehicles. more »

NICK STYANT-BROWNE, OF COUNSEL

Nick was a member of the Toyota Unintended Acceleration Litigation team and currently contributes to the General Motors Ignition Switch Litigation. He also served as lead counsel in the trial against Australia’s major newspaper publishers, which resulted in the deregulation of the system of distribution of newspapers and magazines throughout Australia. more »

RACHEL E. FITZPATRICK, ASSOCIATE

Ms. Fitzpatrick is an associate at Hagens Berman's Arizona office where her practice primarily focuses on consumer rights, complex civil litigation and mass tort cases, including the firm's pending General Motors Ignition Switch Litigation involving recalls responsible for more than 100 deaths, consumer damages and loss of vehicle value. more »

Catherine Y.N. Gannon, ASSOCIATE

Ms. Gannon's practice focuses on nationwide consumer protection cases involving large corporations. She has extensive experience working with expert witnesses, often in economic and other highly technical areas. She is currently working on the MyFord Touch class-action case In re MyFord Touch Consumer Litigation. more »

CHRISTOPHER R. PITOUN, ASSOCIATE

Christopher R. Pitoun is an associate in Hagens Berman’s Los Angeles office focusing on class actions, consumer protection and mass torts. He is currently working on the Fiat Chrysler (Jeep) Gear Shifter Rollaway Defect litigation involving the defect responsible for the death of famed actor Anton Yelchin and affecting more than 800,000 vehicles nationwide.  more »

SHELBY R. SMITH, ASSOCIATE

Shelby R. Smith is an associate at Hagens Berman's Seattle office where she prosecutes personal injury cases and class-action cases on behalf of consumers. She is currently working on the following automotive class-action cases: Volkswagen Emissions, Mercedes BlueTec Emissions and General Motors Ignition Switch litigationmore »

Jessica thompson, ASSOCIATE

Jessica Thompson is an associate at Hagens Berman where she contributes to the firm's automotive class-action cases, including Mercedes BlueTec Emissions and General Motors Ignition Switch litigationmore »