Dallas (PRWEB) April 26, 2010
A federal jury in San Angelo found that Hyundai Motor Company’s reclining seat caused the death of a passenger in a single car accident of a 2005 Hyundai Tucson Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV).
The lawsuit marks the first time ever that a jury has found that a defect in a reclining seat can kill a passenger in a car accident even though they buckled their seat belt.
Dallas injury attorney Todd Tracy of the Tracy Firm Attorneys at Law has warned drivers for decades that reclining seats can kill or cause severe injury to their passengers in car accidents. “The automobile industry and auto dealerships advertise reclining seats as an inexpensive luxury accessory for passenger comfort on the road and highway. They tell car buyers that the family can lay back, rest, and even sleep. But for dozens of years there’s been growing evidence that reclining seats kill or cause severe injury such as paralysis in car accidents,” said injury attorney Todd Tracy.
Accident lawyer Todd Tracy represented the family of 19-year old Sarah Goodner. Goodner was killed in a July 2007 car accident when she was ejected from the reclined seat of the Hyundai Tucson SUV.
Goodner was taking a nap in the Hyundai Tucson’s front passenger reclining seat when she was thrown out of the car when it rolled over on a West Texas highway. The federal jury slapped Hyundai with a 1.8 million dollar damage verdict for using a defective reclining seat system.
Evidence presented during the trial showed that Hyundai’s lap seat belt was supposed to provide the primary safety protection, but it failed to prevent the young victim from sliding out from under the lap seat belt when the seat was fully reclined. Goodner was wearing the seat belt lap and shoulder restraint.
“Hyundai insulted the jury’s intelligence by claiming that its reclining seat was only supposed to be used when the car was not moving and by blaming the dead car accident passenger for not reading fine print in the owner’s manual. Hyundai has failed to use available accident safety technology that would prevent reclining seats from being tilted back more than a 45-degree angle. Hyundai could also have saved a life with a system currently used by another automobile company that automatically returns a reclining seat to the upright position in the event of a car accident”, said injury attorney Todd Tracy.
Case Reference: Estate of Sarah Goodner et al vs. Hyundai Motor Company, LTD and Hyundai Motor America, U.S. District Court For The Northern District Of Texas San Angelo Division Civil Action No. 6:08cv-78-C
Contact: Robert Riggs Spokesman for Tracy Firm Attorneys at Law