The Ammons Law Firm has successfully negotiated the settlement of a crashworthiness product liability case against General Motors on behalf of those surviving a young wife and mother of four who was killed in a rollover. The entire family was returning to their Los Angeles home after a trip to Mexico. As they traveled in the family’s 1993 Chevrolet Suburban, the vehicle briefly contacted the right shoulder of the highway, causing it to skid and roll over onto its top. The woman was trapped in the overturned vehicle, still belted behind the steering wheel with the roof completely collapsed onto her head. She died there as a result of blunt force head and neck trauma.
In the lawsuit filed on behalf of the woman’s husband and children, it was alleged that the Suburban’s roof structure was extremely weak and failed to maintain the woman’s survival space within the occupant compartment. The Plaintiffs contended that an automaker must manufacture its vehicles in such a way that, when a crash occurs, injuries to the people inside the vehicle are minimized to the extent practical. Because General Motors failed to do so with respect to the Suburban’s design — by providing a strong roof structure that would preserve an occupant’s survival space — the young woman was needlessly killed in a relatively low energy crash.
Plaintiffs’ attorney Rob Ammons commented, “The performance of a vehicle’s roof in rollover crashes is crucial in providing for proper occupant protection and injury prevention. GM has represented to the Federal Government that it recognizes vehicles have ‘non-encroachment’ zones. Yet it doesn’t ensure its vehicles’ roof structures are strong enough to prevent compromise of those non-encroachment zones during rollover events. In fact, it didn’t even conduct rollover testing of the Suburban to evaluate its performance prior to selling production models to the public.”
The amount of the settlement is confidential at GM’s insistence.
The Ammons Law Firm is located in Houston, Texas, and practices personal injury law, including cases involving: tire defects, oil rig explosions, truck accidents, plant explosions, refinery accidents, wrongful death, post-collision fires, seat belt defects, seatback defects, airbag defects, SUV rollovers, and workplace negligence.