Case Shows Dangers of Riding With Reclined Seats, Vehicle Manufacturer to Pay

Attorneys Robert Ammons and Justin Burrow concluded the products liability suit they filed on behalf of the parents of a 26-year-old man who was killed in a collision. The litigation stemmed from a crash in which a vehicle was T-boned by an SUV at an intersection. The man was seated in a reclined position, with his head outside the coverage area of the sedan’s side curtain air bag. Following the crash, the man suffered a bleeding around the brain, injuries to his internal organs, and internal bleeding that sent him into shock before he died.

It was alleged in the lawsuit that the vehicle manufacturer failed to properly warn consumers about the dangers of riding in a reclined position, which renders airbags and seatbelts useless. The company’s advertisements tout a seat that can help passengers “stretch out and relax,” even though studies going back decades have shown the dangers to passengers who recline their seats while cars are in motion.

Image of car after crash

The firm further alleged that the warning in the owners’ manual for the vehicle was not adequate to warn against riding in a steeply reclined seat. Additionally, the manufacturer has chosen not to employ safety features that would reduce the risk — for example, a warning bell or light or a recline restrictor to prevent the seat from being excessively reclined when the vehicle is in motion.

The parents sought wrongful death damages that included the loss of the positive benefits flowing from the love, comfort, companionship and society their son would have given them had he lived as well as the emotional pain, torment and suffering they experienced as a result of their son’s untimely and unnecessary death.

The Ammons Law Firm has a nationwide personal injury practice focusing on tire defects, truck accidents, rollovers, consumer protection and product liability, catastrophic injury, wrongful death, post-collision fires, seat belt defects, air bag defects and plant explosions.