The Ammons Law Firm has successfully concluded a product liability case brought against General Motors on behalf of two catastrophically injured Pennsylvania residents and the survivors of a child who died in a rollover crash. The tragedy occurred one summer afternoon as a 45-year-old mother and her children, ages 12 and 9, were passengers in a 2005 Chevrolet Trailblazer being driven on a South Carolina highway. For an unknown reason, the vehicle traveled onto the highway’s shoulder and, on being brought back onto the traffic lanes, rolled over. All three family members were seriously injured. The 9-year-old died of her injuries several hours later, the 12-year-old was permanently paralyzed by a spinal cord injury, and their mother was completely incapacitated by a traumatic brain injury.
In the lawsuit, Rob Ammons claimed the Trailblazer’s lack of a safety feature known as electronic stability control (ESC) caused the accident because, without it, the vehicle was prone to becoming uncontrollable under normal and foreseeable operating conditions such as drifting onto a shoulder and regaining the roadway. ESC uses sensors to detect an impending loss of control and then immediately applies the brakes on one side or one corner so that the vehicle is returned to its intended path. ESC has proven especially helpful in preventing loss of control accidents in road-edge recovery situations like the one that presented itself on this South Carolina highway.
Ammons also alleged that the Trailblazer did not provide adequate occupant restraint and protection in the rollover. The roof was weak, the seat belts failed to lock or remain buckled, and there was no side curtain airbag to provide supplemental occupant restraint and containment benefits. As a result, none of these passengers was fully contained within the vehicle during the crash. All three were subjected to harmful contact with the vehicle’s roof as it collapsed and with the ground as the vehicle rolled.
Although the catastrophic injuries would not have been sustained if the Trailblazer had not been defective, Plaintiffs included as a defendant in the lawsuit the estate of the driver who did not survive the crash, alleging he breached his duty to exercise ordinary care in operating the Trailblazer by allowing it to travel onto the highway’s shoulder.
Settlement was reached between all parties, and the amount of the settlement is confidential at the insistence of the defendants.
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.