Genuine Parts says jury awards damages of $81.5M against company, NAPA
As disclosed in the company's prior SEC filings, the company is defending a number of product liability lawsuits, many of which involve claims of personal injury allegedly resulting from the use of automotive parts previously distributed by the company. The company has routinely defended lawsuits of this nature for over 20 years and considers this litigation to be in the ordinary course of business. Throughout this history, the company has never settled or otherwise resolved a case for a material amount. In a regulatory filing today, Genuine Parts said that on April 17, a jury awarded damages of $81.5M against the company and the National Automotive Parts Association. NAPA is an automotive parts trade association of which the company is the sole member. The awarded damages are before offsets from previous settlements and potential bankruptcy trust claims, which are not currently known as a result of the judicial process, but are expected to reduce the initial awarded damages.The company is disappointed with the jury's verdict, but recognizes that it is just the first step of a multi-step legal process. The company believes the verdict is not supported by the facts or the law and is contrary to the company's role in the automotive parts industry. The company intends to challenge the verdict through post-trial motions and, if necessary, on appeal to a higher court. Based upon the company's legal defenses, insurance coverage and reserves, the company does not believe this matter will have a material impact to the financial statements; however, this assessment may change as additional facts are known and the judicial process progresses.