Lawsuit accuses GM of not abiding by internal goals for occupant protection

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Sep. 6, 2010, 7:46am

MARSHALL-A recently filed federal lawsuit accuses General Motors of manufacturing a vehicle that violated crashworthiness goals for occupant protection and caused the death of a Texas man.

Stephanie Willis, as next friend of a minor and legal heir to the estate of Timothy Daniels, deceased filed suit against GM on Aug. 25 in the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division.

The motor vehicle accident occurred on Jan. 8 as Timothy Daniels was driving a 2003 Chevrolet 1500 truck on State Highway 31 in Smith County. According to the lawsuit, Daniels left the roadway and struck several trees. Although he was wearing his seatbelt, Daniels sustained fatal injuries.

Willis argues the vehicle was not reasonably crashworthy and was defective because the front and side structure of the vehicle were not inadequately reinforced, the vehicle was not designed to withstand front offset, not properly crash tested, lacked proper engineering analysis and failed to contain structural components and designs that were utilized by others.

The plaintiff also states the vehicle violated crashworthiness principals because he survival space was destroyed and energy was not properly distributed. Willis states the vehicle also violated GM's crashworthiness goals for occupant protection.

On behalf of the deceased, the lawsuit is seeking damages for physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life and total loss of earning capacity.

Willis is also seeking damages for loss of care, maintenance, support, services, advice, counsel, pecuniary losses, loss of companionship and society, loss of consortium, mental anguish, loss of inheritance, interest and court costs.

The plaintiffs are represented by E. Todd Tracy and I. Scott Lidji of The Tracy Firm in Dallas.

U.S. District Judge T. John Ward is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:10cv00317

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