Practice Area Category: Auto Defect
When his 1999 Acura Integra rolled over the seatbelt failed to prevent his head from striking the roof, leaving the driver a quadriplegic. During discovery, Eisenberg Rothweiler’s attorneys uncovered a 1992 roll over test showing Honda was aware of the defect and failed to redesign the seatbelt or alert the public. This incident could and should have been avoided by using a safer design that already existed. The verdict is the largest automotive defect award in Pennsylvania history.
An 8-year-old boy was killed after he was ejected from a van struck by a tractor-trailer. The van’s lift gate latch failed upon impact, opening the rear gate and ejecting all occupants inside. The boy was then run over by oncoming traffic. Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C., argued before a jury that the minivan was not crashworthy and did not offer adequate protection from a collision. The automobile manufacturer knew that in certain scenarios, the rear hatch could open due to a design flaw in the latch mechanism. It was also known that the seats would collapse backward and the seatbelts would be unable to keep the occupants in the vehicle. The manufacturer did not warn drivers or issue a recall. Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C., recovered a large award for the boy’s family during the trial.
A young woman was driving her SUV at only 35 mph when struck by another motorist, causing her vehicle to roll over. She was ejected from the vehicle when her seatbelt malfunctioned. As a result, she has chronic, intractable pain from metal rods surgically placed in her back to stabilize her spinal cord, and required surgery to remove a kidney damaged in the rollover. Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C., argued that the auto manufacturer was responsible for an SUV design which was not crashworthy and failed to protect the driver in such a collision. The manufacturer acknowledged the propensity for the vehicle to rollover, yet did nothing to warn or protect drivers. Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C., recovered a large settlement for the client.