Jeremy Johnson concentrates his practice on the defense of clients in the areas of trucking and transportation, wrongful death and personal injury, product liability, and premises liability. He also Co-Chairs the firm’s Transportation, Auto, Products and General Liability Trial Group. In addition, Jeremy is a member of the firm’s Rapid Response Team.
Case Summary: Partners John Masterson and Jeremy Johnson obtained a defense verdict after a 15-day wrongful death trial based on an alleged product defect. The case stemmed from a fatal accident at a construction site in which Mr. Gomez was killed when a 1,500-pound digger bucket fell from a large excavator operated by his co-worker. Defendant JRB designed, manufactured, and sold the coupler that connected the bucket to the excavator. The JRB coupler was powered by the excavator’s hydraulic system, which allowed it to be controlled by an operator from the cab of the excavator. Plaintiffs (the decedent’s wife and children) alleged that the JRB coupler was defective in its design and operating instructions. Defendant JRB maintained that its coupler was not defective and was instead misused by the excavator operator. Plaintiffs also sued the general contractor and the sellers of the excavator and coupler. Plaintiffs settled with the general contractor during the first week of trial and dismissed seller defendants at the close of their case-in-chief. The jury was out for approximately four hours before returning a defense verdict.
Obtained defense verdict on behalf of Werner Enterprises in a highly-contested wrongful death case in federal court.
Case summary: The decedent’s vehicle suffered a front-passenger tire failure at 8:00 PM on eastbound Interstate 10 in Phoenix. She brought the car to a stop in the #3 travel lane of the freeway, then engaged the park brake and called her husband to inform him of the car problems. Werner’s tractor trailer collided into the stopped car about a minute and a half after the car came to a rest, killing the driver.
Jeremy co-chaired the case with colleague Phil Stanfield. At trial, Phil presented evidence showing that the decedent drove on the flat tire for a minimum of a full mile before bringing the car to a stop. He also argued that the decedent failed to drive the car off the highway (there was available shoulder along the road and she passed at least one freeway exit), which was the true cause of the accident. Plaintiff’s counsel argued the tractor-trailer driver was at fault due to lack of attention and failure to avoid a stranded motorist. In closing argument, plaintiff’s counsel discussed a $20M painting but did not ask for a specific amount. The jury returned a defense verdict after deliberating for approximately three hours.
Published opinion, Oscar Aguilar v. Werner Enterprises, Inc., “Arizona Significant Defense Verdicts of 2013,” Arizona Attorney, June 2014
Professional Associations & Memberships
- American Bar Association, Vice-Chair, Commercial Transportation Litigation General Committee, Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, 2012-Present
- Arizona Association of Defense Counsel, Young Lawyers Division, Board of Directors, 2009; President, 2011-2014
- Defense Research Institute, Trucking and Product Liability Group Member
Professional Recognitions & Awards
- Southwest Super Lawyers Rising Stars, 2014-Present
- Top 40 Litigation Attorneys Under 40 in Arizona, American Society of Legal Advocates, 2013
Presentations & Publications
- “Taking an Eraser to the Blackboard: New Strategies for Combatting the Ever-Increasing Cost of Medical Care in Litigation,” Co-Author, The JSH Reporter, Spring 2018
- “Some Truckers Say the Darndest Things,” Co-Author, The JSH Reporter, Spring 2018
- “Taking an Eraser to the Blackboard: New Strategies for Combatting the Ever-Increasing Cost of Medical Care in Litigation,” Co-Author, Fall/Winter USLAW Magazine, September 2017
- “Some Truckers Say the Darndest Things,” Co-Author, Spring/Summer USLAW Magazine, March 2017
- “Jury Consultants: How and When to Use Them,” Presenter, USLAW Transportation Exchange, 2017
- “Safety Technologies: Now That You Have Them, What Are You Doing with the Data,” Presenter, USLAW Transportation Exchange, 2016
- “State of Arizona Transportation Compendium of Law,” Author, USLAW Transportation Law Compendium, 2016
- “Emerging Trends: An Overview of New Case Law and Developments,” Presenter, JSH Annual Seminar: It’s All Fun and Games Until Someone Gets Hurt, November 2014
- “Retail, Restaurant and Hospitality Guide to Arizona Premises Liability,” Co-Author, USLAW Compendium, February 2014
- “Rapid Fire Drill: AZ Case Law Updates,” Presenter, JSH Seminar, October 2013
Arizona State University, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, J.D., 2006
Utah State University B.S., cum laude, 2003
U.S. District Court, District of Arizona
U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit