SUV Rollover: Occupant Ejection Results in Death
FACTS & ALLEGATIONS:
Rosario Doe, 21, was driving a Nissan Pathfinder SUV when the vehicle drifted off the left side of the highway and entered a grassy median. She steered right to correct the vehicle, but it bean to yaw clockwise across two lanes. When she steered left in an effort to stay on the road, the SUV yawed counter-clockwise at the edge of the road and rolled over on the shoulder, coming to rest on its roof.
On impact, the SUV’s roof collapsed inward, the webbing on Doe’s seat belt tore, and her door latch failed. She was ejected form the vehicle and suffered fatal head injuries.
Her three year old son, Sisco, was also killed. Doe’s mother, individually and on behalf of her surviving grandson’s and her daughter’s estate, and Sisco’s father, sued the manufacturer of the SUV alleging that it was defectively designed in that it was unstable and had handling problems.
Specifically, plaintiffs claimed the vehicle had poor oversteer/understeer characteristics at handling limits, which contributed to an unrecoverable loss of control, and that the design did not allow for the vehicle to slide out rather than roll over. Plaintiffs alleged that defendant failed to use safer alternative designs to lower the center of gravity, such as wider track width and a longer wheelbase.
RESULT: Settlement Confidential
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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.