Larry E. Coben

helmetBar Admissions

State Bar of Arizona and Federal District Court - 1994

State Bar of Pennsylvania, U.S. District Court and Court of Appeals, Third Circuit. - 1973

U.S. Supreme Court, the 1st, 4th, 5th, 10th, and 11th U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal, and Pro Hac Vice in State courts such as: Texas, Mississippi, Massachusetts, Arizona, Illinois, Tennessee, Vermont, New Mexico, Florida, Delaware, Georgia, Ohio, Hawaii, Maine, New York, Nevada, Virginia, Michigan and Utah


  • Cumberland School of Law of Samford University - J.D., cum laude (1973)
  • Athens College - B.A. (1968)

Noteworthy Cases as Lead Counsel

Pursell v. Volkswagen, Selected to VerdictsSearch's 2010 Top PA Verdicts. [$10.2 million dollar verdict against Volkswagen in a products liability case for a design defect - lack of an anti-submarining ramp for the rear center seated occupant].

Harris v. Ford Motor Company, Arizona Super. Ct., September 2002. [$8.8 million dollar verdict against an auto manufacturer for an injured person in a products liability case stemming from a roll over accident].

Walker v. Schutt Sports Sales Group, Gayson Ct., April 2000. [Largest known verdict ($12 million dollars) against a football helmet company - without any setoff - regarding spinal cord injury.]

Buongiovanni v. General Motors Corporation, Pa. Ct. Common Pleas, 1998. [At the time, it was the largest verdict for an injured person in a products liability case in the State of Pennsylvania.]

Yarusso v. Bell Helmets, Delaware Super. Ct., 1998. [First known verdict against motorcycle helmet manufacturer regarding helmet shock attenuation design and spinal cord injury.]

Munro v. Galati and General Motors Corporation, Arizona Supreme Court - No Federal Preemption of "No Air Bag Claim" (938P.2d 1114 (1997)).

Peisino v. Riddell Corporation, Delaware Super. Ct., 1992. [First known verdict in the nation for a football player who suffered a spinal cord injury due to helmet design/shock attenuation.]

Professional Memberships and Associations

  • Arizona State Bar Association
  • Maricopa County Bar Association
  • American Bar Association: Member Publications Editorial Board (1999 - Present), Vice Chair Trial Techniques Committee (1995-98), Vice Chair of Tort and Insurance Practice Section (1996-97), Vice Chair Medicine and Law, CLE Board, Emerging Issues Committee (1994-95), Committee on Solo and Small Firm Practitioners (1994-95)
  • Policy Committee of the Institute for Injury Reduction - Chairman (1991-93)
  • Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association
  • Arizona Trial Lawyers Association - Board of Directors (1999-Present)
  • Western Trial Lawyers Association - Board of Directors (2002-Present)
  • The Association of Trial Lawyers of America
  • Attorneys Information Exchange Group (AIEG) on Crashworthiness: Founding member, Chief Legal Officer (2001-Present), Executive Committee member, Chairman of Auto Focus (1996)
  • American National Standards Institute Z90 Committee: Chairman of Labeling Sub-Committee (1988-94)
  • Society of Automotive Engineers (1997-Present)
  • Institute for Injury Reduction (IIR): Founding member, Chairman of the Board (1988-91)
  • Tort and Insurance Law Journal for Medicine and Law Committee (1988-89)
  • Medico-Legal Committee of Pennsylvania Bar Association (1987-88)
  • Observer to the Drafting Committee on a Uniform Interstate Depositions and Discovery of Documents Act.



Crashworthiness Litigation 2d, American Association for Justice (AAJ), 2008.

Crashworthiness Litigation, ATLA Press, 1998.

Products Liability Litigation: Product Studies - Chapters on Crashworthiness, Frontal; Restraint Systems, Seat Belts; Litigation and Preemption. Clark, Boardman and Callaghan, 1996.

Pennsylvania Products Liability Guide. Bisel, February 1993.

Crashworthiness, ATLA Anthology Series, 1989.

Automobile Crashworthiness - Side Impact Accident, American Jurisprudence Proof of Facts 3d Series, 1989.

Articles Published

Can Helmets Protect Against Brain Injuries in Football?
Larry Cobenís recent article for The Legal Intelligencer discusses the pitfalls of football helmets and whether new design solutions could better prevent head injuries.

BRIEF OF Amicus Curiae: Center for Auto Safety in Support of Appellants and Supporting the Reversal of the Decision of the Lower Court

In Personal Injury Cases, Instructing Juries On Loss of Life's Pleasures: IT'S THE RIGHT THING TO DO, AzTLA Advocate, March 2008.

Evidentiary and Substantive Issues in Products Liability Cases, AzTLA Advocate, April 2007.

Instructing Juries on Loss of Life’s Pleasures; It’s the Right Thing To Do, Arizona Attorney, April 2006.

Debunking the Malibu Myth and How to Try a Roof Crush Case and Win, Western Trial Lawyers, June 2005.

Contingency Fees: If It’s Not Broken, Why Fix It?, Arizona Attorney, August 2004.

Conspiracy of Silence: Hidden Seat Back Hazards, TRIAL, March 2004.

If a Product is Defective, Why Must it Also Be “Unreasonably Dangerous?, AzTLA Advocate, March 2004Defeating the Federal Preemption Defense in Product Liability Cases, American Association for Justice, Spring 2007..

On-Road Rollover Hazards: Why Do Vehicles Roll Over?, AzTLA Advocate, January 2004.

Children in Seat Belts in Crashes, AzTLA Advocate, May 2003.

Helmet Protection: Why Not More?, Proceedings of the 2002 SAE Motorsports Engineering Conference and Exhibition (pg. 649-653), December 2002.

Why are Americans at Grave Risk of Catastrophic Injury in Rollover Accidents?, Andrews Automotive Litigation Reporter, December 2002.

I Was Wearing My Seat Belt - Honestly! How to Prove That Your Client was Belted, AzTLA Advocate, September 2002.

A Products Liability Defendant Cannot Obtain Apportionment of Fault When the Only Other 'Party At Fault' is the Product, AzTLA Advocate, May 2002.

What is the Fairest and Fullest Method of Evaluating Future Economic Losses in Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Actions in Arizona? AzTLA Advocate, December 2001.

The Anatomy of a Frontal Crashworthiness Case, AzTLA Advocate, September 2001.The Anatomy of a Frontal Crashworthiness Case, Andrews Automotive Litigation Reporter, August 2001.

What is Products Liability in the New Millennium? AzTLA Advocate, April 2001.

Accident Analysis of Air Bag Induced Injuries/Fatalities, AzTLA Advocate, September 2000.

Competing Tort Law Forums: Courts vs. Legislatures, AzTLA Advocate, September 2000.

The Air Bag Preemption War, ATLA Trial Magazine, September 2000.

Protecting Litigation Support Materials From Discovery, ATLA Trial Magazine, July 2000.

Large Trucks, Danger on the Road, AzTLA Advocate, June 2000.

Should A Product Manufacturer Be Held Liable For Failing To Recall A Defective Product Learned To Be Defective? AzTLA Advocate, February 2000.

One-way Protective Orders in PL Litigation Unfair, Maricopa Lawyer, November 1999.

Rollover Accidents: Why Vehicles Rollover and Why Motorists Suffer Catastrophic Injury, AzTLA Advocate, August 1999.

Contesting the Use of Statistical Accident Data to Defend Crashworthiness Claims, ATLA The Products Liability Law Reporter, Volume 18, Number 6, July 1999.

Admissibility of Evidence of Other Similar Incidents in Products Liability Cases, AzTLA Advocate, February 1999.

Enhanced Injuries: Apportionment or Not, AzTLA Advocate, April 1998.

Seat Safety: The Impact of Unsafe Design, TRIAL, February 1998.

Frontal Crashworthiness Concepts, ATLA 1997 Annual Convention, Attorneys' Information Exchange Group Program.

The Risk of Air Bag Systems, ATLA 1997 Annual Convention, Products Liability Section Program.

The Arizona Supreme Court Rejects Federal Preemption of Non-Airbag Crashworthiness Claims, AzTLA Advocate, June 1997.

The Risks and Benefits of Air Bag Systems: Are they Needlessly Killing and Injuring Motorists?, SAE International Congress and Exposition, 1997.

Hazardous Bedding for Children: Who is Responsible?, AzTLA Advocate, April 1997.

Federal Preemption: Victims Prevail in No-Air Bag Cases, AzTLA Advocate, September 1996.

The Daubert Decision: Gatekeeper or Executioner?, TRIAL, August 1996.

The Non-Relevancy of Statistics in a Products Liability Case, AzTLA Advocate, July 1996.

Pre-Trial Discovery: The Relevancy of the Design, Manufacture, and Testing of Other Vehicle Models and Other Accidents, WTLA Western Chronicle, Winter 1996.

Pre-Trial Discovery: The Relevancy of the Design, Manufacture, and Testing of Other Vehicle Models and Other Accidents, AzTLA Advocate, December 1995.

Children in Seat Belts in Crashes, WTLA Western Chronicle, Fall 1995.

Where Does Myrick Lead Us?, TRIAL, September 1995.

Victory in An Unsafe Seat Belt Case, WTLA Western Chronicle, Spring 1995.

The Analysis and Presentation of a Restraint System Case, Products Liability Advisor, May 1995.

Victory in a No Air Bag Case, TRIAL, April 1995.

Warnings in a Changing Marketplace: Why Wasn't I Told?, ATLA Products Liability Law Reporter, February 1995.

Amicus Brief Author

Hernandez-Gomez v. Volkswagen Of America - Arizona Supreme Court, 2001.

Geier v. Honda Motor Co. of America - U.S. Supreme Court, 1999.

Presentation and Seminars

"Roof Strength and Pre-tensioner Seat Belt Protection", AIEG 2007 Seminar, New York, NY, October 2007.

“Auto Focus”, AIEG 2007 Seminar, Chicago, Illinois, April 19-21, 2007.

“The Anatomy of a Trial for New Lawyers”, Lorman Education Services, Phoenix, Arizona, April 21, 2006.

“Earn & Collect Your Fees Ethically”, State Bar of Arizona, Phoenix, Arizona, March 27, 2006.

“Cars, Trains - But No Planes”, Arizona Trial Lawyers Association, Phoenix Arizona, March 18, 2005.

“Auto Focus”, AIEG 2004 Seminar, Santa Fe, New Mexico, October 27-30, 2004.

“Experts Only as Good as The Lawyers Who Prepare Them”, Arizona Trial Lawyers Association, Phoenix, Arizona, October 15, 2004.

“Hold Me Back! Restraint Systems: The Dynamic State of Vehicle Safety & Their Impact on Litigation”, Maricopa County Bar Association Seminar, Phoenix, Arizona, May 26, 2004.

“Products Liability”, Lorman Education Services, Phoenix, Arizona, May 25, 2004.

“Identifying Product Liability Cases in Auto Litigation”, Arizona Trial Lawyers Association, Auto Litigation/Arbitration/Mediation Program, Phoenix, Arizona, March 19, 2004.

"Rollovers, Crashworthiness, Etc.," AzTLA seminar: "On the Road Again", Phoenix, Arizona, November 14, 2003.

"AIEG Under Attack," AIEG 2003 Auto Focus seminar, Santa Monica, California, October 24, 2003.

"Air Bag Discovery," AIEG 2002 Air Bag Summit V, Kansas City, Missouri, May 16-17, 2002.

"Wrongful Death & Survivorship - Law & Proof of Wrongful Death & Survivorship Damages," Arizona Trial Lawyers Association Damages Seminar, Phoenix, Arizona, March 22, 2002.

"How to Present and Attack Accident Reconstruction Simulations: Advice and Demonstration," (presented in conjunction with Thomas M. Klein of Bowman & Brooke, LLP, and Stephen M. Werner, Ph.D., P.E., of Exponent), ABA's Emerging Issues in Motor Vehicle Product Liability Litigation, Phoenix, Arizona, March 21-22, 2002.

"Networking on the Internet - Sharing Information While Maintaining Confidentially and Work Product Privileges," ATLA 2001 Annual Convention, July 14-18, 2001.

"Recreational Helmets - Bicycle and Football: Design Defects Producing Head and Neck Injuries," ATLA 2001 Annual Convention, July 14-18, 2001.

"Work Product," AIEG Spring Seminar, Denver, Colorado, March 30-April 1, 2001.

"Recreational Helmets—Design Defects Producing Head and Neck Injuries," Texas Trial Lawyers Association, Products Liability Seminar, February 2001.

"Crashworthiness: Identifying and Pursuing Safety Issues in Litigation," AzTLA, Learned Luncheon Series, March 13, 2000.

"Competing Tort Law Forums: Courts vs. Legislature," ABA Section of Litigation, Products Liability Committee, Mid-year Meeting, February 3, 2000.

"From Classroom To Courtroom: Trial Techniques For the New Lawyer," ATLA sponsored seminar at Arizona State University College of Law, October 1999.

"Proof of Seat Belt Usage" and "Proof of Other Similar Incidents," AIEG Auto Focus Seminar, Scottsdale, Arizona, September 1999.

"Introduction to Crashworthiness," ATLA, AIEG Presentation at Annual ATLA Convention, July 1999.

"Trying The Airbag Case in 1999," ABA Emerging Issues in Motor Vehicle Product Liability Litigation, April 1999.

"Expert Selection/Cost Management," AzTLA Products Liability Seminar, 1998.

"Factual and Technical Discovery," AzTLA Products Liability Seminar, 1998.

"Ethics for Trial Lawyers: Where do Ethics Begin and End? What About Full Disclosure?," AzTLA Ethics for Personal Injury Lawyers, 1998.

"Seat Back and Rollover Accidents and Vehicle Defects," AIEG Spring Convention, 1998.

"Airbag Induced Injuries," ABA Spring Auto Focus Seminar, 1998.

"Air Bag Safety Issues and Frontal Crash Protection," ATLA Annual Convention, 1997.

"Use of Demonstrative Evidence," Trial, Tactics, Tips & Techniques, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, 1997.

"Hazardous Bedding for Children: Who Is Responsible?," Western Chronicle, S 1997.

"Rollover Accidents: Why Motor Vehicles Rollover and Why Motorists Suffer Catastrophic Injury in Rollover," Products Liability Section Newsletter, Vol. II, No. 1, Winter 1997.

"What Has Daubert Done to Us? — Or ‘Where Has All the Evidence Gone?’," Andrews Automotive Litigation Reporter, August 5, 1997.

"The Risks and Benefits of Air Bag Systems: Are They Needlessly Killing and Injuring Motorists?," SAE International Congress and Exposition, 1997.

"Plaintiff’s Perspective of Ethics and The Trial Attorney," AzTLA 1997.

"Auto Focus 1996," Chair - Attorneys Information and Exchange Group, October 1996.

"Automotive Litigation 1996: Defect, Discovery, Decision," Andrews Automotive Litigation Conference, September 1996.

"Investigation and Preparation of a Seatbelt Defect Case," ATLA Jazzfest Seminar, May 1996.

"Latest Trends in Motor Vehicle Design/Crashworthiness Litigation," AIEG Spring Seminar, May 1996.

"Seat Belt Performance in a Rollover Accident and Roof Crush," ABA Emerging Issues in Motor Vehicle Product Liability Litigation, March 1996.

Teaching Activities

Arizona State University Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, guest speaker "Products Liability", March 2008.

Graduate course at the Engineering School of the University of Pennsylvania, entitled "Engineering In Litigation," 1989-90.

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