Products Liability Attorney in Seattle, Washington

Defective Products: The Case of the Runaway Jeep

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I personally represented a woman who was stopped at a service station and she was running in to pay for her gasoline. As she was headed into the service station a car came across the street, went across four lanes of travel, and then it went right on through the service station and it scooped her up on the front of the vehicle, threw her through the front section of the service station and threw her out the back section. Obviously she was severely injured. She ultimately ending up leg amputated. It was a situation where the driver says I don’t know what happened. I did not have my foot on the gas pedal. The product got to be defective. It just took off on its own.

And so as I dug into that case I found out that this was not a one type, one time accident. Across the country there had been vehicle who had unintended acceleration where the vehicle would take off and people swear that they didn’t even push on the gas pedal. It was just went on its own. It started with the Audi, and then it went on to mine was a Jeep. So I ended up suing Chrysler because the product was defective. It would have taken about $6.00 or $7.00 per vehicle to put in what is called a brake shift interlock. You got to put your foot on the brakes just to shift it in gear. All cars have that now, but back then they didn’t have it when that case came along.

It was cases like this that told manufacturers that you need to start spending that $600.00, $700.00 because you’re going to end up owing millions when it is all over with. So that was a sample of one of the product liability case that we ended up doing, and we were successful on the case.

Seattle, WA personal injury attorney James Buckley talks about a case involving a dangerous vehicle defect. He explains that I had the privilege of personally representing a woman who experienced a harrowing incident at a service station. While she was inside the station, a car suddenly veered across the street, traversed four lanes of traffic, and crashed through the service station, colliding with her. The impact propelled her through the front section of the station and ejected her out the back, causing severe injuries that ultimately led to the amputation of her leg. The driver of the car claimed to have had no control over the vehicle, stating that it experienced unintended acceleration due to a defect.

As I delved deeper into the case, I discovered that this was not an isolated incident. Similar instances of unintended acceleration had occurred across the country, with drivers vehemently asserting that they had not applied pressure to the gas pedal when their vehicles surged forward. The issue had initially surfaced with Audi vehicles and extended to include the model involved in this particular incident, a Jeep. Consequently, I initiated a lawsuit against Chrysler, the manufacturer, on the grounds of product defect. It was revealed that a relatively inexpensive modification, known as a brake shift interlock, could have been implemented for approximately $6.00 to $7.00 per vehicle. This safety feature requires the driver to engage the brakes before shifting gears. While this feature is now standard in all cars, it was absent at the time of this case.

By pursuing this product liability case, we sent a clear message to manufacturers that investing in safety measures, even if they entail a modest cost, is essential. Neglecting such precautions can result in significant financial liabilities amounting to millions of dollars. Ultimately, our efforts proved fruitful, and we achieved a successful outcome for our client in this case. It serves as an example of the type of product liability cases we handle, emphasizing the importance of holding manufacturers accountable and advocating for safer products.

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