Seat Collapse & Defect Cases

Product Liability/ Auto/Seat Back

Confidential Settlement - 11/21/06. Rothering v. DaimlerChrysler Corporation and Thomas Brown,
In the Circuit Court for Baltimore County, Maryland. When the passenger's front seat in a 2004 Dodge Caravan collapsed in a rear impact, the passenger's head struck his 2 year-old son's head, causing his son's death from a severe skull fracture and catastrophic brain injury. Plaintiffs had evidence that Chrysler had known for years that its seatbacks were failing in rear impacts, as shown in its own rear crash tests and from its notice of real world incidents where occupants located behind the minivan's seats were injured or killed when those seats failed in rear impacts.
The wreck occurred when the Rothering's minivan was rear ended by Thomas Brown's vehicle. Because Mr. Brown caused the wreck, Plaintiffs also filed claims against him. At the defendants' request, the amount of the settlement is confidential.


Product Liability/ Auto/Seat Back
Confidential Settlement - 08/29/06. Neal v. DaimlerChrysler Corporation and William Charles Holloway,
In the Circuit Court, Ninth Judicial Circuit, Orange County, Florida. When the driver's front seat in a 2000 Dodge Caravan collapsed in a rear impact, the driver's head struck his 2 year-old daughter's head, causing a severe skull fracture and catastrophic brain injury. The child was properly restrained in an integrated child seat that DaimlerChrysler manufactured and permanently installed behind the driver's seat, a seat DaimlerChrysler contended it designed to collapse. Plaintiffs proved that Chrysler had known for years that its seatbacks were failing in rear impacts, as shown in its own rear crash tests on the seats, and from its notice of real world incidents where occupants located in and behind the minivan's seats were injured or killed when those seats failed in rear impacts.

The wreck occurred when the Neal's minivan was rear ended by the T.D.T. Mack truck driven by William Holloway. Because these defendants caused the wreck, Plaintiffs also filed claims against T.D.T., Inc. and William Holloway for hitting the Neal minivan. These defendants admitted liability prior to trial.

The case settled on the eve of trial. At the defendants' request, the amount of the settlement is confidential.


Product Liability / Seat Back Failure
Confidential Settlement

Mr. and Mrs. McCutchen brought suit against GM after she was involved in a rear-impact collision. The driver's seat of her 1990 Cadillac Sedan DeVille failed; she "ramped" underneath her seatbelt and into the back seat where she broke her back at T-11. Mrs. McCutchen, who was 74 years old at the time, was rendered a permanent paraplegic.

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Product Liability / Seatback Failure
Defective driver's seat in 1996 Chrysler minivan
Confidential Settlement

The plaintiff, four-year-old Morgan Dize, was catastrophically brain damaged when her mother's seatback failed rearward, causing her mother's head to slam into Morgan's head when the family's minivan was hit from behind in a minor rear-impact, resulting in a change in velocity to the minivan of only 12 mph. No one in either vehicle had any injuries except Morgan, whose injuries resulted solely from the seatback failure.

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Product Liability / Seat Belt Failure / Wrongful Death
Defective seat belt in 1995 Isuzu Rodeo.
Cash Settlement

The decedent, Jana Ramirez, was literally severed in half at L-1 when her Takata seat belt failed to remain on her pelvis during a survivable rollover collision and instead sliced through her abdomen, which is incapable of supporting seat belt loading at accident levels.

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