Paralyzed San Diego Rollover Car Accident Victim Beats Ford Motor Co….Again (x6)

We’ve written before about Benetta Buell-Wilson’s ongoing fight with Ford Motor Company regarding her record-breaking $369 million trial court verdict after her Ford Explorer rolled over on Interstate 8 (I-8), which left her paralyzed due to a crushed spine (Crippled San Diego Injury Victim Beats Ford Motor Co.; Record San Diego Roll-Over Verdict to be Reviewed).

Well, Buell-Wilson won again and this time it is final. Ms. Buell-Wilson has been fighting since she was injured earlier this decade and for the last five years since a San Diego jury awarded her $369 million, including $27.6 million in compensatory damages and nearly $340 million in punitive damages. After several appeals, including a reduction of the total verdict to $82 million, the United States Supreme Court finally ended this legal ordeal by failing to accept Ford Motor Company’s appeal. Ford will now be forced to pay Buell-Wilson the $82 million verdict.

In June 2002, Buell-Wilson was severely injured and paralyzed while she was driving on I-8 near Tavern Road in Alpine in East San Diego County. The San Diego County auto accident occurred when she swerved to avoid an object on the freeway, causing her vehicle to roll over several times and come to rest on its’ roof. Buell-Wilson alleged that the design of the Ford Explorer because it was unstable and had a weak roof, particularly at its’ “C pillar” behind the front seat and in front of the rear seat.

Congratulations to Buell-Wilson and her husband. It takes a great deal of determination and courage to fight a multi-billion dollar company like Ford to get the compensation one deserves and to punish Ford for its’ knowing failure to make a safe vehicle. We hope they now have peace.

Obama Gives Auto Defect Plaintiffs the Cold Shoulder in GM and Chrysler Bankruptcies

It appears from this ABC News story that Obama will not allow any reasonable and rational consideration stand in the way of nationalizing GM and Chrysler through bankruptcy–a deal that appears only to benefit the auto worker unions.

In the latest move, apparently supported by the Obama Department of Justice, the bankruptcy court issued an order that allowed the “Old” GM to sell all assets to the “New” government- and union-owned GM, while leaving all liabilities–including claims by hundreds of people allegedly injured by defective vehicles–with the “Old” GM. Unfortunately, since all assets had been stripped from the “Old” GM, there most likely will be little if any money to pay these injured plaintiffs.

These plaintiffs are just the most recent group to have their legal rights taken from them during the GM and Chrysler bankruptcies. Most notably, several retirement funds–including teachers’ pension funds–had their equity stake in these companies decrease to nearly 10% of their original investment.

In the case of the GM auto defect plaintiffs, they have effectively lost their day in court to have a jury determine if their loved one’s death or their serious injury was caused by GM’s faulty design or construction. Even if a jury finds in their favor now, it is but a hollow victory since there is no money to compensate these victims for their losses.

The deal for the Chrysler plaintiffs is even worse. Based upon the bankruptcy court’s order, any plaintiff who bought their Chrysler car before the June Order cannot sue Chrysler for injuries caused by an auto defect–even if the injury occurred after the Order was issued.

The Obama administration’s decision to throw injured victims under the bus in the name of protecting these failing behemoths to escape their responsibilities is despicable. Considering that Obama ran on a platform of “Hope and Change” that would look out for people and not the corporations shirking their responsibilities, every American should be extremely upset. Not only is it hypocritical but it puts profits over people.

Look next for Obama to create national medical malpractice caps, artificially protecting negligent doctors from having to take full responsibility for their errors, in order to pass his Health Care Reform bill.

Goodyear Recalls 40,000 Tires for Dangerous Defect

Akron, Ohio-based tire manufacturer Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company has issued a recall through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for 40,915 tires due to a serious defect. The tires, all under the model Wrangler Silent Armor, contain a defect that could cause tread separation, which can easily lead to a serious auto accident.

Although the recall was only recently announced, problems with the tire have been traced back to May 2010, when warranty and property damage claims involving the Wrangler Silent Armor tires began to increase.

However, serious investigation into the tires did not begin until August of 2011, when tread separation in one of the Goodyear tires caused a fatal rollover accident in Texas that took the lives of two people. It has been found that if the tire were to separate, a crash could result or the separated tire tread could strike and damage the vehicle. While there have been no more serious accidents reported since then, problems with the tires have warranted a recall.

Goodyear will be notifying owners of the tires shortly and will replace them for free beginning March 22. The specific models of Goodyear Wrangler Silent Armor that have been recalled were manufactured from March 31, 2009 through May 31, 2009, and the tire sizes are:

  • LT235/80R17 LRE
  • LT245/75R17 LRE
  • LT265/70R17 LRE
  • LT275/70R18 LRE
  • LT285/70R17 LRD
  • LT325/60R18 LRE

Tire defects are very serious problems as anything that is wrong with the tire can result in a serious accident due to a vehicle’s reliance on the performance of its tires. If you or a loved one has been injured because of a defective vehicle part, the auto product defect lawyers in San Diego can find proper compensation for your losses from the companies responsible. For more information, call us today.

Fatal Vista Pedestrian Accident Suspect Turns Himself In

Providing fresh insight into the teen skateboarder killed by in a Vista hit and run car accident, a 92-year old man has turned himself into authorities saying that he might be the careless driver. A vigil was held in memory of 15-year old Lucas Giaconelli, who lost his life in when a car struck and killed him as he was skateboarding along Thobodo Road in Vista in North San Diego County.

It was during the vigil itself that the 92-year old suspect came forward asking why the vigil was taking place. The deputy with the San Diego Sheriff’s Department explained about the Vista pedestrian accident. When the deputy was finished, the man said he had been driving on the street around the time of the accident and thought he had hit a small animal. The man’s car was then examined and the damage was found to be consistent with the fatal auto accident.

It has to be said that, though we are all concerned with the way young people drive, though also has to be given to the danger posed by senior citizens driving when they perhaps should not. Clearly, due to their age, they can sometimes cause serious threats to fellow drivers and pedestrians. In some cases, such as in this accident, their carelessness and inability to react quickly can even cause death.

Vista Skateboarder Dies in Hit and Run San Diego County Auto Accident

A 15-year old Vista boy was killed by a hit and run driver in a tragic Vista car accident while he was skateboarding on Thibodo Road east of Edna Way. The teenager, identified as Lucas Giaconelli, was a freshman at Rancho Buena Vista High School.

This tragic accident happened on Friday, January 29,2010, around 7 p.m., when Lucas was struck from behind by a high-speed 1990 Toyota Camry while he was skateboarding with his friends. Lucas was knocked down to the street and was taken to an Escondido hospital where he succumbed to his injuries within an hour of arrival. The suspected driver was said to be driving a white model of Camry with tinted windows. It is believed to have a broken headlight and front-end damage, reported Sheriff’s Deputies.

Serious pedestrian accidents like these tend to shake our trust and faith in humanity. How cruel is it to leave anyone, most of all a child, gravely injured and bleeding on the road? The entire Vista community is shocked and grieving! Our office wishes to convey our sincere prayers and condolences to the family and friends of Lucas Giaconelli in such heartbreaking times. We hope for the accused to be caught soon.