Chrysler sued after rollover on local highway

David Yates Mar. 25, 2008, 8:43am

Dodge Ram 1500

Traveling late at night with her granddaughter, Ruth McCall, 76, says her rented Dodge truck "suddenly showed a lack of stability and went out of control" causing the vehicle to rollover and slide across Texas 73 – finally stopping upside down in the median.

McCall claims Chrysler manufactured and sold a faulty 2007 Dodge Ram 1500 pickup truck and is suing the automobile company for $400,000 in medical expenses alone. Her husband Clarence McCall is also a plaintiff in the suit and claims he has suffered a loss of consortium.

The couples' suit was filed in the Jefferson County District Court on March 24.

According to the plaintiffs' petition, on July 11, 2007, around 11:20 p.m. Ruth was driving an Enterprise Leasing Co. Dodge Truck southbound on 2400 west Texas 73 with her granddaughter.

"Suddenly Plaintiff's Dodge Ram pickup showed a lack of stability and went out of control; her vehicle wheels going off road to the driver's right and then as the Dodge Ram veered back to the left, the vehicle rolled over off and on the roadway and then came to a rest upside down in the median," the suit said.

"Although at all times wearing her shoulder and lap seat belt and not being ejected, Plaintiff Ruth McCall sustained severe, life-affecting injuries."

Because Chrysler was responsible for manufacturing, inspecting and placing the allegedly defective truck "into the stream of commerce," the company is liable under the legal doctrine of "strict liability in tort for injuries or damages caused by or arising out of defects in the design, manufacture or marketing of the subject vehicle," the suit said.

"When the 2007 Dodge Ram PK was introduced into the stream of commerce, it was designed and built with a defective design and body," the suit said.

"(The truck) had a rollover propensity because of its defective track width and its defective height of center of gravity, resulting in an unacceptably low T/2H Static Stability Factor and therefore an unacceptably high percentage chance of rollover in a single-vehicle collision."

Ruth McCall was 76 years old at the time of the incident and spent two months in a hospital following the crash, the suit said.

"She is bedridden today," the suit said, adding that Ruth seeks $400,000 in medical expenses, plus damages for her mental anguish, impairment and loss of wages.

The McCalls are represented by Dallas attorney Thomas McElroy.

Judge Gary Sanderson, 60th Judicial District, has been assigned to the case.

Case No. B181-476

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