Although Texas drivers are required to obey all traffic laws, sometimes accidents cannot be avoided. When a person is operating a vehicle, they expect a reasonable degree of safety in its operation. Vehicle manufacturers and dealers that manufacture dangerous products could be held liable if a death occurs. This is the case for a Texas woman who passed away after a car accident, leading her family to file a wrongful death lawsuit against several companies.
The wrongful death lawsuit names General Motors, two car dealerships and a truck supply company. The family alleges that the defendants were negligent in the design, production and marketing of the vehicle. The woman was traveling in an Impala when, for unknown reasons, she lost control and crashed. The airbags failed to deploy. Though the case was originally filed in state court, it has since been moved to the U.S. District Court located in Tyler.
Product manufacturers are required to meet certain standards of safety, and when they fail to do so, injuries or even death may result. Injured victims or the surviving family members of deceased parties retain the right to seek legal action when negligence is deemed to have caused an accident. In a wrongful death claim, the family can seek funeral costs and related final expenses, as well as other damages.
This woman's life may have been saved had the airbags deployed as expected. Although seeking civil action through a wrongful death product liability claim could be bittersweet, a successfully litigated lawsuit may allow the families to achieve some solace in the tragic occurrence that took their loved one away. If liability is established to the satisfaction of the federal court, before which the case is now pending, a monetary award may help prevent a personal tragedy from turning into a financial one as well.
Source: Southeast Texas Record, "Wrongful death lawsuit filed against GM after car's air bags failed to deploy," Michelle Keahey, Jan. 13, 2013