The plaintiffs were traveling on a highway in a rented SUV with the 53 year old father driving, his wife in the passenger seat, and their three teenage daughters seated in the rear. The SUV was equipped with a rollover sensing airbag system, and was involved in a single vehicle crash that included a rollover event. Unfortunately, during the crash the belted father was partially ejected from the vehicle during the roll sequence and was fatally injured. The side curtain airbags in the vehicle did not deploy in the accident.
Attorneys Alan M. Feldman, Daniel J. Mann and Edward S. Goldis were contacted soon after this tragic accident. They immediately took steps to preserve the vehicle, and quickly analyzed whether the side curtain rollover airbags should have deployed in the accident sequence. Their investigation also revealed that the daughter who was seated directly behind her father suffered significant cervical injuries which required surgery, as well as a fracture to her left femur. Based upon their substantial experience in other “crashworthiness” cases, the Feldman Shepherd team pursued the claim that these injuries were caused by the failure of the seatbelt she was wearing to hold her in place during the roll sequence.
The Feldman Shepherd attorneys retained leading experts in the field of airbag design, seatbelts and restraint design, biomechanics and accident reconstruction to present these arguments. The vehicle manufacturer contested all of these claims, and argued that the airbags should not have deployed in this particular accident. The manufacturer also contended that the seatbelts appropriately restrained the daughter, who was injured by the significant accident forces brought to bear on her side of the vehicle.
The case resulted in a settlement prior to trial.