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CONFIDENTIAL Product liability - Defective/dangerous design - Wrongful death of 64-year-old driver when seatbelt failed.

Greene County, Missouri

In this product liability matter, the plaintiff contended that the defendant was negligent for a defective and dangerous seatbelt design which failed, causing the death of the 64-year-old decedent when she was ejected from the vehicle following a collision. The defendant denied the allegations.

On August 5, ________, the 64-year-old female decedent was operating her vehicle, a ________ Dodge Neon manufactured by the defendant, in the westbound lane of U.S. Highway 60 near its intersection with Farm Road in Greene County, Missouri. The decedent was properly restrained using the seatbelt. The other vehicle involved in the collision was also traveling westbound on Highway 60. She was in the passing lane and veered her vehicle into the decedent’s lane of travel. As a result, the decedent moved her vehicle to the shoulder to avoid collision, started to lose control of the vehicle and over steered back into roadway. The decedent’s vehicle collided with the other driver’s vehicle. The decedent’s seatbelt failed to contain her and she was ejected from the vehicle and died as a result of the fatal injuries that she received. She was pronounced dead at the scene of the collision.

The plaintiff brought suit, alleging that the defendant manufacturer’s seatbelt was defective in design and/or manufacture. The plaintiff contended that the seatbelt, a K12 wide buckle with anti-G mass that was supplied to the defendant by AutoLiv, failed. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant was aware of the defective nature of the seatbelts used in its vehicles and failed to take proper action.

The parties agreed to a confidential settlement of the plaintiff’s claims prior to trial.

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