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Onondaga County

The plaintiff contended that the three point lap-shoulder belt in the car manufactured by the defendant Chrysler Corp. was defectively designed in that it did not contain a protective covering over the belt at the anchor, resulting in the belt severing upon impact. The defendant contended that such a device would not have prevented the detachment upon the severe impact which caused extensive damage and which the defendant contended occurred when the plaintiff was struck by a van after running a stop sign. The defendant also contended that the belt met all applicable standards, including the defendant’s standards, which it contended were more stringent than Federal Regulations. The defendant also contended that in view of evidence that the van had invaded the plaintiff’s front seat in the perpendicular crash, and in view of the fact that extensive crush damage was sustained by the plaintiff’s car, it was clear that the plaintiff would have sustained at least equally severe injuries even if the belt had not separated from its anchor. The jury found for the defendant manufacturer. Martell vs. Chrysler Corp. Index no. 82- ________; Judge Thomas Murphy, 5-6-90. Attorney for plaintiff: Laurence Wangerman; Attorneys for defendant: Harold Lee Schwab and Howard S. Hershenhorn. Plaintiff’s accident reconstruction/design expert: Malcolm Newman from Mineola.

Plaintiff’s biomedical engineer: James Peel from Mineola.

Defendant’s biomedical expert: John States, M.D. from Rochester.

Defendant’s accident reconstruction expert: James Somerset from Syracuse.

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