03-27-2015, 09:58 PM #1
GA - Parents of Remi Walden, 4, sue Chrysler over rear-mounted fuel tank rupture
First Jeep Fuel Tank Fire Lawsuit Goes To Trial
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles faces allegations in a high-stakes trial that began Monday in Georgia state court that a defective fuel tank in a Jeep Grand Cherokee caused a fire that burned a child to death after a rear-end collision.
In his opening statement, Jim Butler, attorney for the plaintiff said “In 1998 Chrysler knew that the gas tank on a 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee would be crushed in a rear impact,” Butler said, noting that Chrysler relocated the fuel tank to the center of the car in later models. “Chrysler admits it could have put the gas tank on the 1999 Grand Cherokee in the midships position.”
Butler explained to the jury that everyone else involved in the accident, including the driver of the second vehicle and other passengers in the Jeep suffered comparatively minor injuries, and that the only reason the accident resulted in a fatality was the rear-mounted gas tank. Remington was restrained in a booster seat at the time of the accident. “If the wreck does not kill you, then you should not be burned,” Butler said. “Had there been no fire none of us would be here today and that boy would be alive and well.”http://blog.cvn.com/trial-begins-in-first-lawsuit-over-jeep-fuel-tank-fires
Sergio Marchionne, chief executive of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, will testify. http://www.wsj.com/articles/fiat-chrysler-ceo-to-be-deposed-in-jeep-fuel-tank-fire-lawsuit-1416077675
In the Jeep Liberty and Grand Cherokee models that Fiat Chrysler was asked to recall, the fuel tank is found between the rear axle and the bumper. This poses a problem because it can be punctured in a rear-end collision. According to the NHTSA, at least 51 people have died because a rear end collision in these vehicles caused a tank fire. http://www.lagardelaw.com/2014/12/making-headlines-fiat-chryslers-failure-to-act-on-jeep-fuel-tank-fire-risk/
Millions of Jeep vehicles have a gas tank that is positioned in such a way that it is highly vulnerable to being punctured during a rear-impact accident. The combination of leaking fuel and sparks caused by collisions can easily set the car ablaze, prompting a government investigation and a muted recall that sparked a whole lot of controversy. http://www.jeepproblems.com/trends/rear-impact-fire/
Last edited by noZme; 03-27-2015 at 10:08 PM.
03-30-2015, 08:38 PM #2
Thousands of these autos are still being driven by unsuspecting people.
Today, attorneys for Chrysler actually said the 4 year old & his parents could have read the owner's manual before riding in the grandfather's jeep grand cherokee (not that it contained warnings the SUV was a deathtrap.) Does anyone read the instructions on the sunvisor or operator's manual before riding in someone else's car?
Every day, Chrysler has at least 10 lawyers in the courtroom & each of them has his/her own minions. Lead attorney, Brian Bell from Chicago, is a great example of why there are so many lawyer jokes.
04-02-2015, 11:38 PM #3
$150,000,000 award to plaintiffs!
Chrysler will appeal.
04-03-2015, 12:52 AM #4
amazing.....I don't know what formula is involved to arrive at such an astronomical amount for one person's life ((I am in total sympathy with parents grandparents and whole family of the poor little child))......in some cases when a loss of life is concerned it is a very low figure.
would love to see the formula .....Just My Opinion
04-04-2015, 10:41 PM #5
The defense team, suggested to the jury that should they decide against Chrysler, 20K per year for the life expectancy Of Remy Walden would be a huge amount, 1million & change. Jim Butler, plaintiffs' attorney countered that with a suggestion of $120M. And he pointed out that amount is less than the last 2 years salary & compensation for CEO Sergio Marchionne. The jury was back in less than 2 hours with decisions on all counts & a awarded in the amount of $150M. It was interpreted as making a statement to Chrysler, now Fiat-Chrysler.
I actually attended court most days & had a lot of interaction with the lawyers. It was facinating to watch. The jury was very blue collar & rural. Only 2 or 3 had post high school educations. But, they got it - one of the biggest corporations in the world deflecting responsibility for the gas tank placement they knew about for years & did nothing! (Well, they did manage to lose the whole database about the investigation of rear-position tanks..... accidently deleted.) There are almost 20 more cases in line for exactly the same product failure. Those autos are deathtraps, many are still on the road & people do not know the dangers. In this wreck, both drivers walked walked away unharmed. The child suffered only a broken leg from the collision. He actually could fasten & unbuckle his own seatbelt, but nobody could get him out because of the fire.
“What Fiat Chrysler Automobiles did was unacceptable and put families at risk, and the jury figured that out,” said Jeb Butler, a lawyer for the boy’s family. (Jeb Butler is lead attorney, Jim Butler's son.)
Wall Street Journal: http://www.wsj.com/articles/georgia-...NewsCollection
interesting comments, both pro & con.... a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
Last edited by noZme; 04-04-2015 at 11:00 PM.
04-04-2015, 11:46 PM #6Registered User
- Join Date
- Aug 2014
I'm sorry but that award is ridiculous, astronomical and uncalled for.
It may cause limits on damages in the future. Completely absurd.
I'm sorry about the loss of the dear child, who apparently suffered as he died.
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