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Automotive Products Liability - Chevrolet Sprint allegedly equipped with defective strut and roof, causing roll-over and rendering vehicle uncrashworthy - Death of two passengers - Neck injuries to two other passengers - Plaintiff rendered quadriplegic.

Macomb County, Michigan

This action arose out of a high speed roll-over accident involving a ________ Chevrolet Sprint. The plaintiff alleged that the front strut was defective, resulting in it separating during a side slide, causing the vehicle to roll over. The plaintiff additionally contended that the roof was defective, permitting excessive crush during the roll-over, causing the plaintiff’s paralyzing neck injury.

The subject accident occurred on August 22, ________, in Butler County, Pennsylvania. The plaintiff, a British national, was vacationing in North America with his wife and three friends. He had rented the Chevy Sprint in Toronto, Canada, and was driving southbound I-79 in Butler County Pennsylvania when he drifted off the road to the left, over-corrected to the right and drove off the right side of the road, and then over-corrected to the left, resulting in the car going into a broadside skid. The car tripped and rolled over four times. The plaintiff claimed that the right front MacPherson strut on the Sprint separated during the side slide, causing the roll-over. Furthermore, the plaintiff claimed that the design of the roof permitted excessive deformation p 7 3 during the rollover, causing the plaintiff’s spinal injury.

The defendant General Motors contended that the strut and roof were not defective, that the plaintiff had sued the wrong party and that the plaintiff caused the accident and his resulting injuries. The defendant offered evidence that the Sprint was designed and manufactured by Suzuki and distributed by G.M. of Canada. General Motors Corporation was the only named defendant.

G.M. of Canada is a separate corporation, different from the defendant G.M.

The plaintiff asked for approximately $10 million during closing argument. The jury found for the defendant without ever reaching the issues of proper party or comparative negligence, finding no defect in the strut and no defect in the roof.

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