Collapsed Roof and Defective Seatbelt Causes Death
FACTS & ALLEGATIONS:
On Nov. 26, 2000, plaintiff’s decedent Antelmo Doe Jr., 40s, was driving a 1992 Chevrolet K2500 Suburban on a highway between Comales and Camargo in Mexico. A tire blowout caused him to lose control of the vehicle, which subsequently rolled over. During the rollover, Doe’s estate claimed that the roof of the vehicle collapsed into his seating area, causing severe injuries that resulted in his death. Doe’s estate and his family sued General Motors and Chevrolet Motor Division, Detroit, for products liability .
The plaintiffs asserted that the failure of the roof and seatbelt system was the proximate cause of Doe’s death. They claimed that the roof strength was inadequate and that the seatbelts failed to provide proper restraint. They also alleged that GM failed to conduct dynamic rollover testing neccessary to determine how the various structural and occupant protection systems would perform in a rollover accident.
The family contended that GM failed to warn consumers about the dangers of the vehicle and that marketing of it misled consumers about its safety features.
The defense generally denied the plaintiffs’ pleadings. It argued that Islas was comparatively negligent in his operation ofthe vehicle during the accident, and that the accident was caused by the tire blowout. Evidence discovered by GM indicated that Doe was unbelted and partially ejected from the vehicle. It also claimed that the roof damage did not contribute to Doe’s injuries.
The plaintiffs sought unspecified damages for economic and non-economic loss of the estate.
RESULT: The case settled for an unspecified amount.
Rob Ammons is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, in addition to being Board Certified in Civil Law by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. Rob Ammons’ law practice, The Ammons Law Firm, is located in Houston, Texas. The Ammons Law Firm practice is exclusively personal injury law, handling such cases as: tire defects, oil rig explosions, truck accidents, plant explosions, refinery accidents, wrongful death, post-collision fires, seat belt defects, airbag defects, SUV rollovers and workplace negligence.