Three teenage sisters were in the car with their parents and 90-year-old grandmother on their way to a family reunion. Their oldest sister, in her 20s, had to work and couldn’t join them. In their Kia Sedona minivan, the family traveled along U.S. 67 in Texas. That’s when a man in a Pontiac Bonneville crossed the center line.
Instantly, both parents and the grandmother were killed. The girls suffered serious physical injuries, although they did eventually recover. But the emotional scars will likely never heal, they say. Then came the questions. Specifically: why didn’t the airbags in the van deploy? Numerous lawsuits have been filed due to faulty airbags, but that is not what is being alleged here.
The decedents had purchased the vehicle just a few weeks earlier, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. As they would later learn, that very same vehicle had problems with the airbag. The plaintiffs now believe that the dealership that sold the vehicle may have failed to put in the fuse or reconnect the airbag sensors while troubleshooting a problem with the previous owner’s complaint. That previous owner had made numerous complaints about the airbag light over the three-year period in which she owned the car. Even in spite of these chronic airbag warning light problems, the dealership accepted the vehicle as a trade, later selling it to the decedents.
The plaintiffs’ attorney told a local reporter that they believe staff at the dealership was following protocol in trying to figure out what was wrong and simply made a careless oversight. The car accident lawsuit alleges the crash was survivable, but the fact that the airbags did not deploy resulted in fatal injuries for the plaintiffs’ parents and grandmother. They are seeking $ 1 million in damages from the parent company and the discount dealership that sold them the vehicle. They allege the company failed to reveal to them the prior problematic history with the airbags. The case is slated for trial in February.
The two defendants, in a written statement, said they normally would not comment on pending litigation, but they felt they had to answer public claims that called into question the safety of their operation. The statement said that by all indications known to the defendants, the vehicle involved in this incident was safe. There is no evidence, the defendants said, that would show the airbag was somehow tampered with to hide a defect. There is also no indication, the defendants argued, that anyone removed the fuse. They insist the serious injuries and wrongful death in this crash were solely caused by a driver who crossed the center line on a highway at a high rate of speed and caused a head-on collision.
The plaintiffs aren’t saying defective airbags caused the crash, but they are asserting defective airbags caused severe injuries that otherwise would not have been sustained. All three of those killed were wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash.
Their attorney alleges the dealership in these cases put profits over safety, and as a result these three teen girls had to watch their parents die in a horrific accident they should have survived.
Of course, the validity of both arguments will be challenged in trial.
Contact the Carolina injury lawyers at the Lee Law Offices by calling 800-887-1965.
A deadly crash, an airbag lawsuit and four sisters’ plight, Sept. 19, 2016, By Elizabeth Campbell, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
More Blog Entries:
Backover Accidents, Other Non-Traffic Crashes, Analyzed Now By NHTSA, Sept. 18, 2016, Carolina Defective Airbag Lawyer Blog