The lawsuit alleges that the 2003 Suzuki Grand Vitara manufactured and sold by Suzuki Motors Corporation … failed to properly protect Andrea Bardonner during a July 2006 rollover crash that caused her ejection from the vehicle and ultimately her death
Orange County, CA (Vocus) March 4, 2010
The California auto defects lawyers of BISNAR | CHASE (http://www.BestAttorney.com ) have received a trial date of April 26, 2010 for a products liability wrongful death lawsuit against Suzuki Motors Corporation, American Suzuki Motors Corporation, Takata Corporation, Takata Inc., Takata Restraint Systems, Inc and TK Holdings, also doing business as Takata Seatbelts, Inc. The lawsuit alleges that the 2003 Suzuki Grand Vitara manufactured and sold by Suzuki Motors Corporation and American Suzuki Motors Corporation, and the Grand Vitara's safety restraint system manufactured by Takata, Inc., Takata Restraint Systems and TK Holdings (Takata Seatbelts, Inc.) failed to properly protect Andrea Bardonner during a July 2006 rollover crash that caused her ejection from the vehicle, leading to catastrophic injuries and ultimately, her death. The action was brought against the defendants by Steven Bardonner, Andrea's husband, as well as Nichelle, Makayla and Richard Bardonner, Andrea's children, by and through their guardian, Teresa Boone. Nichelle and Makayla Bardonner, who were passengers in the vehicle at the time of the accident, also sustained severe and permanent injuries as a result of the crash. Trial will be held in the Superior Court of California, County of Orange, case # 00109180.
"We allege the 2003 Suzuki Grand Vitara Andrea was driving at the time of her death was plagued with a myriad of defects that ultimately caused her demise," said John Bisnar of the BISNAR | CHASE Orange County Auto Products Liability Law Firm. "These alleged and flagrant auto defects include, but are not limited to, a defective restraint system, a defective window system, insufficient strength and structural integrity to withstand roof crushing forces, and insufficient lateral and roll stability. We contend the defendants knew about these defects yet they did nothing to warn Andrea, or the general public, about these defects."
Death Caused by 2003 Suzuki Grand Vitara End-Over-End Rollover Accident
According to court records, Andrea Bardonner was the properly restrained driver of a 2003 Suzuki Grand Vitara as she traveled east on Highway 16, west of Range Road 102a in the Hamlet of Wildwood, Alberta, Canada on July 27, 2006. Due to the Grand Vitara's alleged defects, the vehicle suddenly left the roadway, tumbled down a steep embankment and rolled end-over-end several times before coming to rest. During the crash sequence, the vehicle's A and B pillars/windshield headers and roof rails crushed inward, causing excessive slack in Andrea's shoulder belt, thereby facilitating her ejection from the vehicle and ultimately causing her death. Her daughters Nichelle and Makayla, who were passengers in the vehicle at the time of the crash, also sustained severe and permanent personal injuries in the crash.
Suzuki Allegedly Aware of Grand Vitara Defects
The lawsuit claims since 1970, the defendants have known that the use of unsupported, tempered glass in the side and rear windows of their vehicles was contributing to serious occupant ejection problems in side impact and rollover crash accidents. During that year, Roger P. Daniel, a Ford research engineer, published a technical paper in which he recommended the use of a metal framework along with laminated glass or ejection resistant glazing to better retain vehicle occupants. Daniel's report was followed by six separate National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports which also discussed, at length, the issue of vehicle design modifications to prevent occupant ejection, including the use of a modified window frame and either laminated windshield-type glass or another type of glazing.
What's more, the suit alleges the defendants knew their vehicles lacked sufficient lateral and roll stability to keep the vehicles upright during cornering and handling despite technologies that were readily available to prevent rollover and side slip crashes and ultimately, to prevent serious and fatal injuries as a result of those crashes.
Finally, the suit further alleges that the defendants knew their vehicles' A and B pillars/windshield headers and roof rails lacked sufficient strength and structural integrity to withstand minimal roof crushing forces without imparting injury-producing forces upon occupants during rollover crashes.
Suzuki Allegedly Ignored Safety Problems
Despite window modification recommendations by engineers and the ten year study of the issue of ejection by NHTSA, the rollover propensity of the defendants' light trucks, vans and SUVs, and the lack of sufficient roof strength and structural integrity to withstand minimal roof crushing forces in their vehicles, the lawsuit alleges the defendants chose to ignore the inherent safety problems, took no action to prevent such debilitating injuries and deaths and did nothing to warn Andrea or the public about the inherent defects in their products and parts.
Moreover, it is alleged that Suzuki performed no testing whatsoever to see how Andrea's seatbelt would perform in a rollover crash. In particular, the Federally permitted FMVSS 208 dolly rollover test may have revealed defects in the seatbelt retractor, which failed to lock up at a time Andrea needed it most to be restrained in her vehicle.
The action seeks economic damages for wrongful death, personal injuries, pain and suffering and permanency, medical expenses, and loss of past and future earnings and earning capacity, as well as loss of consortium on behalf of Andrea's husband and her children.
About BISNAR | CHASE
The BISNAR | CHASE law firm's Orange County personal injury attorneys represent people who have been very seriously injured or lost a family member due to an accident, defective product or negligence throughout California. The auto defects law firm has won a wide variety of auto defect cases against most of the major auto manufacturers, including Ford, General Motors, Toyota, Nissan and Chrysler. Get a complimentary copy of Mr. Chase’s auto defect book, Still Unsafe at Any Speed: Auto Defects that Cause Wrongful Deaths and Catastrophic Injuries. For more information, visit http://www.AutoProductLiabilityLawyers.com and http://www.ProductDefectNewsandAdviceBlog.com.