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– Product Liability – Defective design – Defective side window system – Defective side curtain air bag system – Plaintiff alleged that during a collision when the vehicle rolled onto its side, the driver's side window shattered, and his arm was ejected from the vehicle – Degloving injury to left hand

USDC, District of Connecticut

In this product liability matter, the plaintiff alleged that the defendant motor vehicle company was liable under a theory of strict liability for injuries to his hand, which resulted when the driver’s side window shattered during a rollover event resulting in the plaintiff’s arm being ejected from the vehicle. The plaintiff suffered a degloving injury to his hand. The defendants denied liability, and argued that the plaintiff’s negligence in the operation of his vehicle was the cause of the collision and his resulting injuries.

On the date of the incident, the male plaintiff was operating a Honda Odyssey minivan that was involved in a rollover accident. The plaintiff was wearing his sea tbelt at the time of the incident, but when the vehicle rolled over onto the driver’s side, the side view mirror caused the driver’s side window to shatter, and the side curtain air bag did not deploy. As a result, the plaintiff’s left arm and hand were ejected from the vehicle. The plaintiff’s hand was dragged along the ground, and he sustained a degloving injury to his left hand, and the loss of use of his left hand. The plaintiff has suffered a permanent disfigurement of his left hand, he has been unable to return to work or to assist his wife with the care of his disabled son. The plaintiff brought suit against the defendant car manufacturing companies, alleging that the window system and the side curtain airbag systems were defective and dangerous, and were the cause of the plaintiff’s injuries and damages. The plaintiff’s wife also brought a claim for her husband’s loss of services and society. The plaintiff maintained that the defendants were liable in that they failed to protect through the window and airbag system for the partial ejection of the plaintiff from the vehicle. The plaintiff contended that the side airbag should have deployed when the vehicle rolled over and it failed to do so.

The defendants denied the allegations, and disputed liability and damages. The defendants denied that there was any defect with either the side window system or the side airbag. The defendants maintain that the side window, side mirrors, and side air bag were all safely designed, and manufactured, and were not the cause of the plaintiff’s injuries or damages. The defendant contended that the side airbag was not meant to deploy in a slow rollover, such as the one that occurred in this situation, and even if it did deploy, the plaintiff failed to demonstrate that the deployment of the airbag would have prevented the injuries he sustained. The defendants contend that the accident was solely the result of the plaintiff’s own negligence in operating his vehicle without consideration of the weather and road conditions. The defendants also disputed the nature and extent of the plaintiff’s alleged injuries and damages.

The matter proceeded to trial.At the conclusion of the trial, the jury deliberated, and returned its verdict in favor of the defendants, and against the plaintiffs. No damages were awarded.

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