Family sues GMC after fatal roll-over

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau May 28, 2008, 12:50pm

Michael Lowenberg

GALVESTON – A local family has filed a wrongful death suit in Galveston County District Court against a major motor company and a Chambers County woman.

The estate of Michael C. Walton Sr. is seeking damages from General Motors Corp. and Pamela Ann Theiler of Dayton for a May 24, 2006, two-car collision near Texas City. The incident was allegedly caused by the defendants' negligence in relation to the manufacture of Walton's full-size sport utility vehicle.

According to the original petition, Walton was driving his 2002 GMC Yukon with spouse Jimsey Walton northbound in the 4200 block of State Highway 146 between Texas City and Dickinson when Theiler "caused [Michael C.] Walton Sr. to take evasive action due to her driving in Michael C. Walton Sr.'s lane of traffic."

Theiler's alleged move precipitated Walton's Yukon to veer off the highway and roll over.

"Both Mr. and Mrs. Walton were properly wearing their three-point seat belts," states the suit. "Despite being properly restrained, Michael C. Walton Sr. was fatally injured and Jimsey Walton was seriously injured when his vehicle failed to protect them."

Michael Walton was said to have suffered "severe head injures" as a result of the accident.

The suit claims GMC was aware of the design and manufacturing defects the Yukon may have, but failed to warn customers and remedy the problem.

"Plaintiffs seek actual damages, which were a proximate and producing result of GMC's manufacturing defects regarding the 2002 GMC Yukon," says the suit.

Other accusations listed in the suit as causes of action include breach of express and implied warranties, negligence, and gross negligence.

Theiler "breached her duty of care in failing to maintain proper control of defendant's vehicle, maintain a proper lookout, and drive in a single lane."

The Waltons are represented by Michael J. Lowenberg of the O'Quinn Law Firm.

Judge John Ellisor, 122nd District Court, is presiding over the case.

Case No. 08CV0531

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