About the Author

Scott Nealey is a San Francisco-based plaintiffs' side trial lawyer with over 19 years of experience in complex class actions, catastrophic personal injury product defects, insurance claims practices, bad faith, and appellate law.   He is the principal of Nealey Law, a trial-focused plaintiff law firm representing clients in complex litigation in federal and states courts nationwide.  Prior to founding Nealey Law, Mr. Nealey was a partner in the San Francisco office of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein (LCHB), LLP.

In the field of personal injury, Mr. Nealey has been lead or co-lead counsel in over 15 major trials in his career, personally preparing for trial, and then resolving, seven of the top ten personal injury case recoveries in the history of LCHB during his tenure.  He was the co-lead counsel in Mraz v. DaimlerChrysler, a case involving the death of a Los Angeles dockworker killed by a park-to-reverse defect in a Dodge Dakota.  A jury in Los Angeles Superior Court returned a verdict of $55.2 million, including $50 million in punitive damages, while on appeal the case was eventually resolved for $24 million.  For his work in Mraz, Mr. Nealey received the 2007 California Lawyer Attorney of the Year (CLAY) Award and was named a Finalist for San Francisco Trial Lawyer of the Year in 2008.  California Lawyer called the Mraz victory against DaimlerChrysler, “one of the year’s largest personal injury verdicts,” and noted “this was the first park-to-reverse case against Chrysler in 25 years to make it to trial.”

Mr. Nealey was also the lead trial lawyer in a subsequent trial against Chrysler that resulted in a $7.2 million verdict in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana, and has prepared for trial, and resolved, a number of additional automobile and other product defect matters.

Most recently, as the lead trial counsel, Mr. Nealey prepared for trial a major class action case against Farmers Insurance (Moeller v. Farmers, No. 99-2-07850-6 (Pierce Cty WA)). The case was resolved two weeks before trial for $48.5 million.

In addition to trial work, Mr. Nealey has an active appellate practice and has authored over 20 appellate and amicus briefs, and has successfully argued cases in appellate courts nationwide.

 

 

The park-to-reverse defect may be described using different terms depending upon the factual situation of an accident or event.   All involve a driver who believes that he/she has shifted into "park" and believing so, and the vehicle not moving when they pull their foot off the brake, proceeds to exit the vehicle.   There is then a delay in vehicle movement sufficient for the driver to either fully or partially exit the vehicle before vehicle movement starts.   Typically, the vehicle will move backwards in powered reverse.  However, when placed in "false park" (the vehicle is between the park and reverse gear position; i.e. "false park" and the transmission is in hydraulic neutral, without the parking pawl engaged),  the vehicle can also roll either forward or back in neutral without shifting into a powered gear.   While less common, transmissions with the defect, can also be shifted to between neutral and drive, and then self shift into drive (called a "neutral to drive" accident).

Scott P. Nealey is a San Francisco-based plaintiff's side trial attorney.  He is the founder and principal of Nealey Law, a San Francisco based trial-focused, plaintiff law firm litigating complex class action, consumer and product liability nationwide.  Scott Nealey was the lead counsel in Mraz vs. DaimlerChrysler (2007) and in Guillot vs. Chrysler (2008)  both of which were park-to-reverse cases tried to verdict (since the Jimmy Carter era).  For his work in Mraz, Scott received the 2007 California Lawyer Attorney of the Year (CLAY) Award and was named a Finalist for San Francisco Trial Lawyer of the Year in 2008.  Scott was also named one of the Northern California Super Lawyers and San Francisco's Best Lawyers 2012 and 2016.

The material on this website is intended for public education and informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. The material is not guaranteed to be complete, or up to date.


This information is not intended to substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney.
 

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