Quadriplegic's suit against GM alleges Camaro defectively designed

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Nov. 6, 2008, 5:00am

MARSHALL -- When driving his 1995 Camaro, Christopher Reddick's vehicle left the highway and overturned after he lost control. Reddick was severely injured and rendered a quadriplegic.

Alleging the car is dangerous and defective, Reddick believes General Motors is responsible for his injuries in failing to recall or change the body design of the T-top model Cameros.

Christopher Reddick and his parents, Terri Eubanks and David Reddick filed the motor vehicle product liability suit against General Motors Corporation on Nov. 4 in the Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas.

The complaint argues the 1995 Chevrolet Camaro is not reasonably crashworthy due to a lack of body structural integrity.

The complaint sates, "General Motors Corporation failed to adequately reinforce the vehicle to minimize body instability, including torquing, bending, twisting and intrusions into the driver's compartment."

Due to the alleged defects, the plaintiff claims that during the accident when the vehicle overturned, the roof pillars collapsed. Reddick believes General Motors could have incorporated a permanent rail to strengthen the structural members to prevent roof collapse.

The plaintiff states that the acts of failing to improve the Camaro are of a "gross and flagrant character in reckless disregard of the safety and welfare of consumers�"

Further the complaint asserts that the vehicle was defective and unreasonably dangerous because the "the interior components and padding within the vehicle were defectively designed and inadequate to provide a reasonably safe occupant system" and "the vehicle failed to provide reasonable head and spine protection to the driver of the vehicle."

Causes of action asserted against the defendant include strict liability, negligence, gross negligence, and breach of warranty.

Reddick is seeking special, incidental, and consequential damages for medical care and treatment costs, pharmaceutical expenses, wage, benefits and economic loss, and travel costs. The complaint is seeking general damages for past and future pain and suffering, permanent physical injury, mental anxiety, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.

Terri Eubanks and David Reddick are seeking damages for emotional pain, loss of consortium, and pecuniary loss, including loss of care, maintenance, support, services, advice, and counseling.

Reddick's mother is also seeking damages to recoup monies spent on around the clock care, special transportation, and the substantial and necessary modifications she made to her home.

Longview attorneys John D. Sloan Jr., M. Raymond Hatcher, and Garrett Wilson of the Sloan, Bagley, Hatcher and Perry Law Firm are representing the plaintiffs.

U.S. District Judge T. John Ward will preside over the litigation.

Case No 2:08cv00429

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