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“I have been prosecuting serious injury and wrongful death cases against trucking companies, auto makers and tire manufacturers for more than 30 years. Our firm maintains this blog to share information and insight on transportation safety issues that continue to arise on our nation’s highways and roads.”

Saturn Settles Suit over Alleged Seatback Failure


Theodore Doe, early 50s, a laborer, was driving his Saturn on March 2, 2000.  The car was designed, manufactured and marketed by General Motors Corp.  On that date, his vehicle was struck by a Pontiac Bonneville.  The Saturn’s seat back allegedly failed, resulting in severe injuries.  Doe alleged that the vehicle was unreasonably and dangerously defective and that it was unsafe for its intended purpose in that its seatback,  its seatback recliner or both were prone to failure and did fail during the collision.  The Saturn, therefore, did not offer proper injury protection to Doe in the collision and proved to be uncrashworthy, the plaintiff alleged.

Photographs of the vehicle immediately following the accident clearly reflected the seatback failure.  Moreover, the plaintiff alleged that the marketing and sale of this Saturn were done knowingly and with an actual awareness of the tendency of the seatback recliner to fail under circumstances similar to this accident’s.  Moreover, according to the plaintiff, GM had notice of the hazard posed by rearward yielding seatbacks prior to this incident.

Doe sustained a broken neck and a closed-head injury.
In addition, he suffered fractured vertebrae at C5-C6. The spinal injury required an anterior and posterior fusion with bone removal from his hip. The closed-head injury resulted in cognitive deficits, depression and behavioral changes. He sought past medical expenses of $93,000 and future medical expenses of $262,000. He alleged that his injuries would in reasonable probability prevent any future return to the workplace, and he sought $760,000 for past and future lost earnings and household services.

RESULT: The case was settled for a confidential amount.

If you or a loved one has been injured due to the negligence of others, contact the Houston product defect attorneys at The Ammons Law Firm today for a free consultation.

Rob Ammons is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, in addition to being Board Certified in Civil Law by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. Rob Ammons’ law practice, The Ammons Law Firm, is located in Houston, Texas. The Ammons Law Firm practice is exclusively personal injury law, handling such cases as: tire defects, oil rig explosions, truck accidents, plant explosions, refinery accidents, wrongful death, post-collision fires, seat belt defects, airbag defects, SUV rollovers and workplace negligence.

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