Family awarded millions in wrongful death suit

Thankfully, most Georgia car accidents don't involve fires. When they do, it's usually because big rigs or other large vehicles were involved. In 2012, a collision between an SUV and a pickup truck resulted in a horrific blaze that killed a young boy. His family subsequently filed a wrongful death suit against Chrysler, the manufacturer of their vehicle. 

The accident occurred when a pickup truck collided with a left-turning SUV. The force of the collision caused the gas tank of the struck vehicle to rupture. The fire caused by gas that ignited resulted in the death of a 4-year-old boy in the SUV. 

After the accident, the parents of the child filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the manufacturer of the vehicle in which their son was a passenger. They claimed that the location of the gas tank was directly linked with the death of their son. The gas tank of the vehicle was located behind the rear axle, making it vulnerable in the event of a crash. It was alleged that the manufacturer was aware of the problems with the vehicle design.

In this case, the family was awarded $120 million in wrongful death damages and another $30 million for pain and suffering. The case is on appeal and will be heard by the Georgia Supreme Court, based upon the defendant's claim that the compensation of Chrysler's CEO ($68 million annually) was incorrectly used to compute the extent of plaintiff's monetary damages. Wrongful death litigation typically involves complex factual and legal issues and is best handled by an experienced personal injury attorney. 

Source: walb.com, "Decatur Co. wrongful death case heard at GA Supreme Court," Dave Miller, Oct. 24, 2017

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