Woman paralyzed because of auto defect wins lawsuit

Even if you are a cautious driver who obeys all of the traffic laws, you could still be injured in a car accident. The injuries aren’t always a result of the other driver, however. Sometimes you can be seriously injured because of the negligence of the automobile manufacturer and/or its parts suppliers. When design defects cause someone to sustain major injuries in an otherwise minor accident, the manufacturer can be held liable in civil court. The outcome of a just such a product liability lawsuit in Vermont could be of interest to our readers in Pennsylvania as well.

A woman was stopped at a traffic light when her car was rear-ended by another vehicle. Despite the fact that she was wearing a seatbelt, she sustained injuries as if she had not been restrained because the seat in the car did not perform as expected. Instead, it collapsed backwards upon impact, paralyzing the woman. She recently won millions of dollars in a lawsuit filed against the manufacturer of the seat, as the jury believed that the seat was unsafe. If it had performed as expected, the woman could have literally walked away from the accident without any serious injuries.

It is unknown exactly what kind of a precedent this case will set. It could set the wheels in motion for tort reform or a class action lawsuit against the manufacturer. Even if it doesn’t, others who have been seriously injured as a result of a dangerous product or an automobile design defect may want to consider filing a product liability lawsuit. They could be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and/or pain and suffering.

Source: VT Digger, “Essex Junction family awarded $43.1 million in personal injury suit,” Hilary Niles, July 2, 2013



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