TURNER & ASSOCIATES, P.A.
4705 Somers Avenue, Suite 100
North Little Rock, AR 72116
Tab is a trial lawyer with offices in Little Rock, Arkansas, Dallas, Texas, and San Diego, California. He graduated with high honors from the University of Arkansas School of Law in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
Tab is a trial attorney who specializes in representing consumers injured by defective automotive products, environmental litigation, anti-terrorism litigation, and commercial litigation. In the field of automotive safety, his primary focus is on vehicle handling and stability and catastrophic tire failures as well as representing families of children injured by defective safety systems. He has won verdicts for clients in multiple cases where the verdict was in excess of $20,000,000.00, including a $132,000,000.00 jury verdict against Ford Motor Company relating to the death of Brian Cole, a young outfielder with the New York Mets organization, which remains the largest single verdict in a wrongful death claim in the U.S.
He served as co-counsel representing Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports magazine, in defamation suits brought by Isuzu Motors and Suzuki Motors in Los Angeles, CA, that resulted in a defense verdict and dismissal. Both cases involved articles published by Consumer Reports relating to the handling and stability characteristics of the Suzuki Samurai and the Isuzu Trooper.
Over a decade ago, Tab was honored by Arkansas Business magazine as one of the leading litigation attorneys in Arkansas and was selected as one of the 40 most prominent Arkansans under the age of 50. He has served as guest speaker for a variety of different organizations including the Association of Trial Lawyers of America; the National College of Advocacy; the Attorneys Information Exchange Group; the American Bar Association Automotive Litigation Section; Western Trial Lawyers Association; Kentucky Trial Lawyers Association; Virginia Trial Lawyers Association; the Arkansas Bar Association; the Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association; the Washington Trial Lawyers Association, the University of Florida, the Southern Trial Lawyers’ Association, and the Texas Trial Lawyers Association. He is an active supporter of “Public Citizen”, a consumer advocacy organization in Washington, D.C., and is a former member of the board and active supporter of the “Trial Lawyers for Public Justice”.
Tab was named the “Outstanding Trial Lawyer of the Year” in the United States for the year 2001 by “Trial Lawyers for Public Justice” based on his work in the Ford/Firestone litigation., and also received the “Outstanding Trial Lawyer of the Year Award” from the Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association for 2001-2002. Tab’s involvement in pursuing Ford and Firestone has been featured on virtually every major news organization, including ABC, NBC, CBS, Dateline NBC, CNN, 60 Minutes II, Frontline, and Burden of Proof. He was featured in the December, 2000, issue of the New York Times Magazine for his work on behalf of consumers in litigation involving sport utility vehicle rollovers. He has authored papers relating to similar accident evidence in products cases; vehicle rollover; occupant restraints; vehicle crashworthiness; voir dire; punitive damages; trial persuasion and settlement strategies. He also serves, and has served, in virtually every capacity with the Attorneys Information Exchange Group in Birmingham, AL.
He is a member of the Pulaski County and Arkansas Bar Associations; the American Bar Association; the Arkansas and American Trial Lawyers Associations; a former Board Member of Trial Lawyers for Public Justice; Million Dollar Advocates Forum; the Southern Trial Lawyers Association; Orange County Trial Lawyers Association; and the Western Trial Lawyers Association. Tab is licensed to in a variety of courts across the country and has represented clients in cases throughout the country.
Tab is also the subject of a book “Tragic Indifference: One Man’s Battle with the Auto Industry over the Dangers of SUVs”, authored by Adam L. Penenberg of New York wherein Penenberg chronicles Turner’s client, Donna Bailey, a single mother of two in her early 40s, who was left a quadriplegic on March 10, 2000, in central Texas when the Ford Explorer driven by her friend flipped over after its right-rear Firestone Wilderness AT tire peeled apart. That case, a watershed in litigation, was settled in January 2001. Penenberg, an investigative reporter who exposed a fabricated New Republic story by journalist Stephen Glass in 1998, tells the story of one lawyer’s battle and one woman’s struggle for survival and justice. The two stories intertwine to lead readers through the blinding maze of suits and countersuits, whistle-blowers, politicians, consumer advocates, journalists, engineers and corporate executives, all surrounding the profit machine now known in the U.S. as the “sport utility vehicle”. Bailey’s accident is the focal point, but the trail of trouble began years earlier, as far back as 1992 for Turner. As the Ford-Firestone story mushroomed, investigative reporters from USA TODAY, CBS, The New York Times, Chicago Sun-Times, The Wall Street Journal and CNN kept the story alive while Congress debated the growing death toll associated with the combination of bad tire and bad vehicle. As more information was forced out of companies, Ford’s internal correspondence showed the existence of a well-documented trail of engineers’ concern over the Explorer’s stability dating from its initial design. The tires’ performance would be the key, they divulged. The tiremaker reduced the weight of its tires and drained air pressure per Ford’s insistence to keep the Explorer’s wheels on the road and avoid rollovers. Firestone insists that it wanted the pressure higher so the tires wouldn’t peel apart. The squeeze for profits was reflected in an erosion of quality control. In the end, Ford and Firestone didn’t just lose, buy or overlook crucial information, Penenberg wrote, they simply chose to ignore it. And presumably, if the media and Turner hadn’t kept up the barrage, consumers would have shrugged. As one reviewer commented about Penenberg’s book: “Penenberg invites you to feel the sweat, the exhaustion, the fear, the frustration and the pain of all concerned. That’s good storytelling, and Penenberg lands the details gracefully, if a bit staged at times. For example, there’s Turner’s solitary walk among the dead, his collection of 17 trampled and battered Explorers that he had shipped to an abandoned Ford dealership. “The Explorers came in a Seussian array of colors ‹ red, blue, tan, white.” We learn in the epilogue that after her settlement, Bailey was able to move into a new home complete with ramps and an elevator and works with troubled teens. Turner continues to sue SUV makers. Ford’s board fired CEO Jacques Nasser in October of 2001 and replaced him with Bill Ford Jr., but the company continues to struggle.
The company introduced a completely redesigned four-door Explorer in 2001, although they continued to build the two-door models, the kind Bailey was riding in when she was paralyzed. And stunningly, Penenberg reports, Firestone now contends its tires were never defective.
Turner is also credited as the pioneer in SUV safety issues and, along with Joan Claybrook of Public Citizen, is credited for being the instrumental tool in Congress’ creation of the “TREAD Act”, which now stands as one of the world’s strongest laws pertaining to consumer protection against defective automotive products and components, including the obligation to inform the public of growing consumer complaints that result in the death or injury of consumers on the highways.
Turner is also actively involved in anti-terrorism litigation, including the 2014 trial of Arab Bank, which was the first civil jury trial in the U.S. under the Anti-Terrorism Act. The verdict (Linde, et al v. Arab Bank) in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Brooklyn, in 2014, involved his representation of over 300 U.S. citizens who were wounded or lost relatives in twenty-four terror attacks in Israel attributed to Hamas. The victims sued Arab Bank alleging that the Bank illegally financed Hamas and Hamas-related front organizations through use of the U.S. banking system. A Brooklyn jury found in favor of the victims on all twenty-four attacks. The damage phase of the trial begins in August, 2015.
Turner is likewise presently representing approximately 200 families of members of the Armed Services who were killed by Iranian IED attacks in Iraq. The families contend that a group of eight Banks violated the U.S. Anti-Terrorism Act by providing financial services to Iranian terrorist organizations despite the existence of U.S. sanctions prohibiting such conduct. The case, Freeman, et al v. Barclays, et al, is currently pending the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York.
Mr. Turner has been honored for his work by the American Trial Lawyers’ Association; the Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association; the Kentucky Trial Lawyers’ Association; the Southern Trial Lawyers Association; the Western Trial Lawyers’ Association; the California Trial Lawyers’ Association; the Virginia Trial Lawyers’ Association; Public Citizen; U.S. News & World Report; AY Magazine; New York Times Magazine; American Registry; Memphis Magazine and the Southeast Region Trial Lawyers.
Tab is the father of three lovely daughters.