By Sarah Bennett
LAW WEEK COLORADO
When it comes to facing new opportunities and challenges both inside and outside the courtroom, Theresa Wardon is known for diving in head first.
The Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell attorney has had a landmark year with courtroom victories in several large product liabilities cases capped with her elevation to partner in January. These winning verdicts include an appellate decision that has reshaped Colorado jury instruction and a unanimous ruling for the first products liability case tried by new client, Michelin, in several years.
In Walker v. Ford Motor Co., Wardon successfully argued for a reversal of a 2013 verdict against Ford. The original 2013 verdict resulted in a $4 million award to the plaintiff with prejudgment interest and held Ford liable for alleged injuries caused by a car seat design defect.
Wardon took the lead briefing role and urged the court to reconsider the trial court’s issuance of pattern jury instructions to determine liability in the 2013 case. Ultimately, the Colorado Court of Appeals found in favor of Ford and remanded the case for a new trial in which jury instruction could be based on the risk-benefit test alone, indicating a shift in Colorado product liability proceedings.