General Motors has agreed to compensate two children whose mother died in a rollover crash in a Chevrolet Tahoe that lacked Electronic Stability Control, a $200 safety feature designed to prevent such crashes.
The company will also compensate one of the passengers, a 13-year-old girl, who was rendered paraplegic in the crash.
The litigation stemmed from a crash in which the 2005 Chevrolet Tahoe veered off the roadway due to defective stability and handling. The mother and 13-year-old were traveling with family on an interstate in Texas at the time of the crash. When the driver tried to counteract movement into the improved shoulder, she lost control of the SUV, which rolled more than three times and came to rest on the driver’s side.
Missing from the Tahoe was a safety feature, known as electronic stability control, that would have cost $100 to $200 per vehicle to add to the SUV, according to allegations made by The Ammons Law Firm. The feature was in more than 124 vehicle makes and models sold in the U.S. as of model year 2004 and was placed by General Motors on certain models as early as 1996.
The Tahoe in the crash was defectively designed with poor handling characteristics, and its structure made it more likely than many other vehicles to roll in a situation where the driver loses directional control, Ammons alleged.
The mother was pronounced deceased at the scene. She left behind two children, 2 and 11, who witnessed their mother’s suffering and death as passengers in the crash.
The 13-year-old girl has a permanent spinal cord injury that will require ongoing care for the rest of her life. An expert at projecting future medical expenses estimated that the girl’s medical needs, including surgeries, equipment, and medications, will total more than $10 million over the course of her life. Her past medical expenses totaled more than $840,000.
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, airbag defects, and plant explosions.