Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed Against General Motors and Continental Tire

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Lawyers for the family of a Border Patrol agent killed in 2006 during a rollover accident announced the filing of a wrongful death lawsuit today against General Motors Corp. and Continental Tire North America in Pima County (Tucson, Arizona) Superior Court. Agent Webb's surviving wife and children are jointly represented by the Gomez Law Firm of San Diego and Simon & Luke in Houston. The family is being represented locally by Patrick Broom of the Tucson firm, Haralson, Miller, Pitt, Feldman & McAnally. All three firms have a long history of successful lawsuits against the manufacturers of defective automobiles and tires.

Lawyers for the family of a Border Patrol agent killed in 2006 during a rollover accident announced the filing of a wrongful death lawsuit today (Webb v. General Motors, et. al., Case Number C20082920) against General Motors Corp. and Continental Tire North America in Pima County (Tucson, Arizona) Superior Court.

Senior Border Patrol Agent David Webb was on duty near Why, Arizona on Nov. 3, 2006. He was driving his Border Patrol vehicle, a 1997 Chevrolet Tahoe, when the tread separated from his right rear tire. The tire failure caused Agent Webb's vehicle to veer out of control. While Agent Webb attempted to regain control of the vehicle, it slid sideways and rolled over. During the rollover, the Tahoe's roof collapsed upon Agent Webb, causing massive, fatal head injuries.

Agent Webb, who was 36 years old at the time, was assigned to the Ajo Border Patrol Station in Ajo, Arizona. He met his wife, Celia, while studying abroad as a foreign exchange student. They had been married 7 years at the time of his death, and had two young children. Prior to joining the Border Patrol, Agent Webb had served in the Army National Guard for five years and achieved the rank of Lieutenant. Webb graduated second in his Border Patrol academy class and earned the highest score on the Spanish exam in the history of the Tucson Sector. He loved being a Border Patrol agent and had aspirations to rise to the level of Chief some day.

Hundreds of law enforcement, military, and public safety officers attended Agent Webb's memorial service, where he received fully military and Border Patrol honors.

Agent Webb's surviving wife and children are jointly represented by the Gomez Law Firm of San Diego and Simon & Luke in Houston. The family is being represented locally by Patrick Broom of the Tucson firm, Haralson, Miller, Pitt, Feldman & McAnally. All three firms have a long history of successful lawsuits against the manufacturers of defective automobiles and tires.

According to John Ramsey of Simon & Luke, "Agent Webb's tire was manufactured by Continental Tire in the 1990s, a decade which was quite tumultuous for the company. As a result of the problems with labor strikes and product recalls, the tire plant where Agent Webb's tire was manufactured was finally closed."

As for General Motors, John Gomez, of the Gomez Law Firm, adds, "General Motors has known since the 1960s that weak roofs cause unnecessary injury and death, and yet, has consistently refused to make its roofs stronger." Gomez adds, "The fact that this Tahoe SUV is especially prone to rolling over makes roof strength all the more important." Gomez claims that General Motors could have made this roof safe for less than $50 per vehicle, but refused to do so to maximize profits.

Both Ramsey and Gomez agree that, "It is absolutely unacceptable that a defective tire and a defective vehicle prematurely took the life of such a devoted husband, adoring father, and man in uniform." They add that, "Agent Webb devoted his life to protecting all of us, but Continental Tire and General Motors failed to protect him."

The family's Complaint claims that the tread separated from the tire due to several defects that caused it to catastrophically fail in service. As for the Tahoe, the family alleges that the SUV is inherently unstable and has a weak roof which caved in as the vehicle rolled, killing Agent Webb. The family seeks unspecified damages.

Some of those damages will be used to repay the federal government death benefits it has paid out as a result of Agent Webb's death. Ramsey and Gomez point out, "General Motors and Continental Tire bear responsibility for Agent Webb's untimely death, not the Border Patrol or the federal government. By bringing suit, we not only hope to improve the lives of this family, but also recoup scarce taxpayer dollars."

Simon & Luke, based in Houston, has represented hundreds of people throughout the United States, Mexico, and Europe who have been victimized by defective products, commercial fraud, aviation, trucking and maritime negligence, and construction accidents. In the past eight years alone, Simon & Luke attorneys have recovered over $240 million for their clients, including numerous settlements in excess of $1 million dollars. Simon & Luke's offices are at 2929 Allen Parkway, 42nd Floor in Houston, Texas. John Ramsey may be reached at (713) 335-4900 or at http://www.simonluke.com.

The Gomez Law Firm, based in San Diego, represents exclusively plaintiffs in high value business and injury cases. Its founder, John Gomez, has recovered over $130 million in verdicts and settlements since 2000, including the largest wrongful death verdict in California history. The Gomez Law Firm is located at 625 Broadway, Suite 600, San Diego. For more information, contact John Gomez, 619-237-3490 or go to http://www.thegomezfirm.com.

The two firms have worked together on numerous cases nationally involving dangerous and defective products.

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