The parents of a teenage girl are suing General Motor for her Texas SUV
rollover accident injuries. The teen and other students were riding a
Chevrolet Suburban in 2007 when the teacher, who was driving the vehicle,
lost control of the sport utility vehicle, which then rolled over.
Even though she was properly restrained, Rachel and Matt Blalock’s daughter was thrown from the SUV. Another teenager who was also ejected from the vehicle (police reports say she wasn’t wearing a seat belt), died.
In their Texas auto products liability complaint, the Blalocks claim that the SUV did not provide adequate restraint or sufficient occupant protection from rollover accident. They also believe that the Chevy Suburban, which they contend was dangerous and defective, lacked the adequate safeguards to prevent ejection. They are accusing General Motors of failing conduct adequate engineering analysis or testing.
The Blalocks are seeking damages for their daughter’s mental trauma, emotional distress, pain and suffering, disfigurement, impairment, medical costs, loss of earning capacity, loss of consortium, and other damages.
SUV Rollover Lawsuits
If you or someone you love was injured in an SUV rollover crash, the sooner you retain the services of an experienced auto products liability law firm that knows how to pursue your recovery, the better. There is a lot of evidence that will need to be gathered and preserved, as well as many questions that witnesses, accident reconstructionists, other experts, police, doctors, and others will have to answer.
Unfortunately, there are auto defects and deficiencies can result in the failure to protect occupants during a rollover crash. Motor vehicle manufactures know this and it is their job to make sure that they do everything possible so that passengers aren’t seriously injured or killed. Proper seat belt protection and roofs that are solid enough that they won’t result in collapse (known as “roof crush“), and advanced window glazing to protect occupants during impact, are among the safety features that can be implemented.
Studies show that occupants that aren’t ejected from an auto during a collision have a higher survival rate. Fortunately, beginning in 2013, car manufacturers will have to start installing “ejection mitigation” systems in all motor vehicles. All new autos will have to include this feature by 2018. This means better side air bags and window glazing. Also per the new NHTSA-issued rule, motor vehicles weighing less than 10,000 lbs will have to establish a countermeasure that would stop unbelted adults from being able to go 4 inches beyond the opening of a side window during a collision. NHTSA says about 476 serious injuries and 373 deaths could be prevented every year with these new safety measures.
Lawsuit against GM filed over deadly Suburban rollover, Southeast Texas Record, August 15, 2011
U.S. Department of Transportation Issues New Ejection Mitigation Rule, NHTSA, January 13, 2011
Related Web Resources:
NHTSA on Ejection Mitigation (PDF)
TOP SAFETY PICKS 2011, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
More Blog Posts:
Parents File Massachusetts $7M SUV Rollover Lawsuit Against Mitsubishi Motors Over Teenager’s 2009 Wrongful Death, Product Liability Law Blog, April 20, 2011
US DOT Issues Rule to Reduce Vehicle Ejections During Rollover Accidents, Product Liability Law Blog, February 4, 2011
Ford SUV Rollover Lawsuit: Jury Awards Baseball Player’s Family $131 Million, Product Liability Law Blog, September 27, 2011