The parents of Jason Alan Foster have filed a Massachusetts SUV rollover
lawsuit Mitsubishi Motors North America seeking damages for his wrongful
death. Foster, 17, died from injuries he sustained in a 2009 SUV rollover
crash. He was a passenger in the sport utility vehicle when the driver,
a teen motorist, lost control of the vehicle and rolled over on a curve
Michelle and Charles Foster say that the 2000 Mitsubishi Montero’s
design is “unreasonably dangerous.” They are asking for $7 million.
In their Massachusetts SUV lawsuit, the Fosters claim that the vehicle
had several design defects, including poor maneuverability, a design that
doesn’t protect occupants during rollovers, a high gravity center,
and a tendency to oversteer. They contend that the automaker failed to
warn about the flaws, defects, and/or the faulty design of the vehicle.
According to the Fosters’ auto defects attorney, Mitsubishi knew
about these vehicle defects that they are complaining about yet failed
to act to remedy them. The couple is also seeking damages for emotional
distress, negligence, and violation of state’s consumer protection
laws. Mitsubishi is denying the Fosters’ allegations.
The Fosters are not the first to file an auto products liability complaint
claiming that the SUV is a rollover risk. The failure to include electronic
stability control on all models, the likelihood that the vehicle roof
and pillars could collapse, and faulty seat belts are among the allegations
that others have made. Some of the cases have resulted in juries awarding
damages of up to $11 million.
It is no longer news that SUVs are at greater risk of rolling over than
passenger cars. Broken bones, internal injuries, traumatic brain injuries,
crush injuries, head injuries, and neck injuries, are just some of the
injuries that can be sustained in an SUV rollover. Vehicle ejection during
a rollover crash is also not uncommon. Auto manufacturers know this and
it is their job to make sure that their sport utility vehicles are designed
to be as safe as possible so that the chances of an SUV rollover are minimized.
Parents file lawsuit over teens’ death, Salem News, March 29, 2011
Related Web Resources: aferCar.gov Before you buy an SUV, PBS