A product liability lawsuit over seatbelt problems in a 1999 Acura Integra resulted in a $55 million verdict. The complaint was filed by Carlos Martinez who suffered severe injuries in an automobile accident that left him a quadriplegic.
According to allegations in the lawsuit, a defect in the design of the Acura Integra seatbelts allowed Martinez’ head to hit the top of the car when it rolled over in the accident, causing him to sustain severe brain damage.
Honda allegedly knew about the potential risk of seatbelt problems with the vehicles, but failed to take appropriate actions to correct this issue.
Following the trial before a Philadelphia jury, Martinez was awarded $55 million in damages, including $25 million for noneconomic damages, $14.6 million for pain and suffering, $720,000 for lost future earnings, and $15 million for his wife’s loss of consortium. The verdict is believed to be the largest for an auto defect lawsuit in the state’s history.
In February, Honda defeated a similar claim when a Louisiana jury sided with the automaker and ruled that the design of the seatbelt system in the 1995 Honda Accord was not defective. That wrongful death lawsuit was brought on behalf of Paul Day Allred, Jr., who suffered fatal head injuries in an accident while he was driving one of the vehicles.
Although Allred’s lawsuit claimed that the injury occurred because his head hit the roof of his Honda, the jury found that Allred’s death was caused by the driver of the vehicle that hit his car.
Manufacturers, distributors and sellers are responsible for not only delivering safe products, but also warning about potential risks. Honda allegedly had prior knowledge that there was a potential risk of seatbelt problems and failed not only to repair the affected vehicles, but also failed to notify owners that there was a defect in the vehicles.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries as a result of negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. For more information, contact one of our Gacovino Lake attorneys at 1-800-246-HURT (4878).