Louisiana Family Wins Appeal Against Jeep

Dangerous and defective products include everything from toys with lead paint to design defects in vehicles. All defective products have the potential to cause serious injuries, and problems with vehicles often lead to wrongful death.

More than 10 years ago, Juli and her husband August got into their 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee to go to the hospital to deliver their baby. Before leaving the garage, Juli got out of the car while August went back to the house to get a cell phone. What should have been a happy day quickly turned tragic.

A transmission defect caused the Jeep to shift from park into reverse, and Juli’s pregnant body was pinned between the garage wall and the vehicle. Their son who was born after the accident suffered fatal brain damage and died only a couple of weeks later.

In 2008, a jury ruled that DaimlerChrysler, the company that makes Jeep Grand Cherokees, was liable for the boy’s death. Juli and August were awarded $5.08 million. The company appealed the ruling, and this week, the family won the appeal.

Despite the company’s arguments that the accident was caused by user error, the three judge appellate panel upheld the previous ruling in the couple’s favor. The lawyer representing Juli and August said that “the most important thing for them was just the vindication of the jury’s verdict” and validation that August was not responsible for his son’s death.

Companies must be held accountable when design defects in their products cause serious injuries, and in this case wrongful death. This ruling is a victory for all victims of dangerous products.

Source: WWLTV.com Eyewitness News, “$5 million award upheld for St. Bernard couple in fatal accident,” Michael Kunzelman, 28 Sept 2010

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