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Tire Issues from a Legal Perspective - Do Autonomous Vehicles Change the Landscape?

Joseph Ruscak & Chad Mowery
Partners  |  Roetzel & Andress


The legal environment is always shifting and tires are not immune to these shifts.  Mr. Ruscak and Mr. Mowery have each spent over a decade defending numerous tire companies in product liability matters and will summarize the current legal environment and offer suggestions to avoid potential traps.  Enabling good business practices and skill sets now will help ease your pain later should litigation occur. 

Topics addressed will include handling the discovery process, improving business protocols and drafting documents in a way to help your company and avoid damaging your personal reputation and potentially the company’s image.

The presenters will also address the additional opportunities for scientific study regarding the durability and testing.  Autonomous vehicles will bring new challenges as the tire becomes more integrated into the vehicle as a system.  The challenges will involve not only how tire companies operate, but also how they approach product liability litigation.  What should a parts manufacturer consider as it supplies to these new platforms?  Don’t miss this presentation to find the answer.



Joseph M. Ruscak focuses his practice on litigation with emphasis on the defense of product liability lawsuits involving tires and automobile components.  As part of his chemical and materials background, Mr.  Ruscak has assisted clients requiring a deeper understanding of the technical issues involving their products.  He is also a member of the firm’s E-Discovery team and practices intellectual property law including patent infringement litigation, technology transfer, licensing trademarks, and intellectual property estate management.  He represents and counsels large and small companies on product liability, intellectual property, and related legal matters in a diverse range of technologies including polymers, materials characteristics, synthetic rubber, chemicals, and tires. 

Prior to his legal career, Mr.  Ruscak worked as a chemical engineer for a Fortune 500 company and brings more than 20 years of experience in the chemical and polymer industries.  He was a former Purchasing Manager - Synthetic Rubber for the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company and a former technical representative to CART Indycar racing team and NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series.  He also designed Original Equip0ment tires for BMW 3 – Series, BMW Mini Cooper and Mercedes Benz M- Class.  His professional affiliations include Cleveland Intellectual Property Law Association (CIPLA), Ohio State Bar Association and Akron Bar Association.

Joe Received his B.S.  in Chemical Engineering from The Ohio State University and his J.D.  from the University of Akron School of Law.



Chad Mowery focuses his practice on the representation of manufacturers in product liability and mass tort matters on both the local and national level.  Over time, this emphasis has led to the roles of serving as national counsel for a major tire manufacturer an industrial equipment manufacturer and local counsel for a heavy equipment manufacturer and medical device manufacturers.  He is also a leader on the firm’s E-Discovery team. 

Additionally, he represents local and national banks in trust and electronic banking litigation, as well as construction companies and electric utilities in a variety of litigation matters.  Chad has represented a major tire manufacturer in a trial in Ohio that resulted in a unanimous defense verdict.  He obtained summary judgment for a major tire manufacturer which was upheld on appeal by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. 

Mr.  Mowery received his B. A. from the University of Notre Dame and his J. D. from Georgetown University Law Center.