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ARTICLE ID 39242

- PRODUCTS LIABILITY - ALLEGED DEFECT IN REAR WHEEL BRAKE CAUSING SOLO ACCIDENT - VEHICLE LEAVES ROADWAY - PLAINTIFF CLAIMS NECK AND BACK SOFT TISSUE INJURY - AGGRAVATION OF PRE-EXISTING WRIST INJURY.

U.S. Dist., Eastern Penn.

This action was brought against the defendant automobile manufacturer by a male plaintiff in his late 20s who contended that he sustained soft tissue neck and back injuries and aggravation of a pre-existing wrist injury in a motor vehicle accident which he alleged was caused by a defective rear wheel brake cylinder. The plaintiff claimed that when he applied the brakes, due to the vehicle proceeding ahead coming to a stop, the brakes on his vehicle went to the floor upon application. The plaintiff swerved off the road, went into a ditch and hit a tree.

The accident occurred on Island Avenue in Philadelphia on March 31, ________. The plaintiff argued that the rear wheel brake cylinder was defective and subsequent to the accident was replaced. The plaintiff’s expert mechanical engineer testified that the brakes were defectively designed or manufactured and that the seals on the rear wheel cylinders malfunctioned in some manner resulting in loss of brake fluid, causing the accident. The defendant argued that failure in the seals on the rear wheel brake cylinder would not manifest in the manner asserted by plaintiff. The defendant contended that the plaintiff’s vehicle slid on wet trolley tracks. The defendant’s in-house engineer and field technical manager asserted that defective seals would not manifest in loss of braking ability. This expert testified that most braking ability is in the front of the vehicle and that any loss in the rear wheel braking ability would cause a gradual loss, rather that the sudden loss claimed by the plaintiff. This expert also asserted that had the seals on the rear wheel brake cylinder malfunctioned, there would have been evidence of brake fluid on the vehicle itself. The jury found for the defendant and determined that there was no defect.

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