Racine, Wis. – Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. is pleased to announce that on February 12, 2020, Attorney Timothy S. Trecek successfully obtained a verdict of $38.1 million against Hyundai Motor Company in an enhanced injury case. At trial, Atty. Trecek was assisted by attorneys Jesse B. Blocher, Elissa M. Bowlin and Susan Tyndall, as well as staff members Ken A. Jarvis, Mary G. Brennan and Kevin M. Hood. Racine County Circuit Court Judge Eugene Gasiorkiewicz presided over the trial.

On July 31st 2015, Edward Vanderventer was rear-ended while driving a 2013 Hyundai Elantra. Mr. Vanderventer suffered significant injuries, including spinal fracture and paraplegia. On behalf of the Mr. Vanderventer and his wife, Attorney Trecek made the case that a defect within the front seat headrest and seatback caused Mr. Vanderventer’s horrific injuries, and that absent the defect, Mr. Vanderventer would have walked away from the accident. Instead, he will never walk again.  Hyundai denied liability and argued that the injuries were a result of the collision and/or a degenerative spine condition known as diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis (DISH).

During the 18-day trial, jurors heard testimony from over 25 witnesses, including seat design and medical experts. In valuing the Vanderventers’ damages at $38.1 million, the jury found that Hyundai’s defective seat design was 84% responsible for causing Mr. Vanderventer’s injuries.

“I could not be prouder of our Racine County jury.  They listened intently to all the evidence presented over the course of the entire trial, using their life experience and common sense in order to render an extremely just verdict.  This kind of verdict helps ensure that companies put safety before profits,” said Trecek.


Attorney Tim Trecek

In 2020, as lead trial counsel, Tim Trecek obtained a $38.1 million verdict against Hyundai Motor Company, for a defectively designed seat back and head restraint system in his client’s 2013 Hyundai Elantra (see news story). The verdict is the largest single-plaintiff compensatory award in Wisconsin history. The verdict included $7.77 million for the plaintiff’s spouse, another record for Wisconsin verdicts. Based on the significance of his 2020 verdict, Tim was honored to receive the Robert L. Habush, Trial Lawyer of the Year Award, the second time being recognized with said award (read acceptance speech). He was also awarded The Litigation Counsel of America’s Tommy Malone Outstanding Verdict Award, an honor bestowed upon one attorney in the US whose verdict is extraordinary in amount or significance.

Although he was born, raised, and works in southeastern Wisconsin, Tim has earned a national reputation as a successful plaintiff’s trial lawyer. Tim’s successes have been so noteworthy that they have been chronicled in papers such as the Boston Globe, the Washington Post, the Fort Worth Star Telegram, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the San Francisco Chronicle and dozens of other publications.