In the majority of cases when a car accident occurs there is a driver whose actions or failure to act caused the accident. However, there are times when all drivers involved are completely innocent which means that the fault lies with the vehicle or a part.
Faulty Brakes Cause Fatal Accident
In 2012, a mother and her two daughters, ages 6 and 4, were riding in the family minivan when the unthinkable happened: another driver in a Nissan Infiniti QX56 slammed into the minivan. The impact killed the mother and her young daughters, leaving a family and community in shock.
The driver of the Nissan survived, however, he sustained serious brain trauma.
Investigation Reveals Nissan Driver Not At Fault
Following the accident, the 74-year-old driver of the Nissan was charged with manslaughter and also charged for driving on a suspended license. The father of the two children and the surviving older daughter of the mother filed a joint lawsuit against him, alleging that his negligence caused the accident which killed their loved ones. But then the outcome of the investigation changed everything.
It turned out that the braking system on the Nissan was defective – which connected with what the driver of the Nissan had been trying to tell the police from the very beginning. In fact, he claimed that he tried to brake long before the crash occurred but couldn’t stop the SUV.
The issues he described were the same as many plaintiffs who had been involved in a 2014 federal class-action lawsuit, all regarding faulty brakes. The elderly driver had purchased the Nissan in 2014 and he alleged no one had ever informed him about the issues.
When this information came to light, the surviving loved ones of the deceased withdrew their lawsuit against the other driver and instead filed against Nissan. The elderly driver also filed a lawsuit against Nissan. In both cases, the plaintiffs alleged that Nissan knew about the issue with the brakes but did nothing to fix the issue or warn their consumer.
The cases went to court and a jury determined that Nissan was at fault for not fixing a code error which would cause the brake pedal to not work when pushed. They awarded $14 million to the surviving husband, $7.4 million to the surviving daughter, and $3.5 million to the elderly driver.
All criminal charges against the driver were dropped.
Defective Product Lawsuits Are Filed Regularly
Under the law, these parties are responsible for creating, building, and selling products which will behave the way they are intended to. But a defect can change how it behaves and cause serious harm. Throughout New York, lawsuits are filed frequently against the manufacturers, designers, and sellers of defective products which caused a consumer harm.
Examples of lawsuits include defective products like:
- Takata Air Bags: The defect in these airbags cause them to eject with extreme force and instead of protecting passengers, hurting them.
- Transvaginal Mesh: This medical device has been eroding and penetrating the vaginal walls of patients that it has been embedded in.
- Nail Guns: Several different models of nail guns have the potential to misfire, sending the nail into the person using it rather than the material they want to use it on.
Just like with other civil lawsuits, a defective product lawsuit gives the plaintiff the opportunity to obtain compensation. While this won’t take away the pain they have already suffered, it will help them to recover. Compensation can cover medical expenses and lost wages, taking away the financial strain of being injured.
Our experienced defective product lawyers are ready to help you gather the evidence you need, file the necessary paperwork, and pursue justice. Contact us now to learn more about how we can help.