Michelle Keahey, East Texas Bureau Oct. 29, 2012, 3:21pm

TYLER - The parents of a deceased Quitman child have filed a lawsuit against General Motors claiming that the company failed to adequately test their vehicle for crashworthiness. 

David Carpenter and Becky Carpenter, individually and as representatives of the Estate of S.B.C. a deceased minor, filed suit against General Motors on Oct. 25 in the Eastern District of Texas, Tyler Division.

The accident occurred on Feb. 17, 2011, as Debra Holcombe was driving a 2007 Chevrolet Suburban traveling southbound on FM 17 in Van Zandt County. She lost control of the vehicle and the vehicle began to roll, ejecting the minor from the Suburban.

According to the lawsuit, the minor was properly restrained, but the restraint system failed to protect her.

General Motors is accused of negligence in the design, manufacture, assembly, marketing, and testing of the 2007 Chevrolet Suburban.

The defendant is accused of knowing that the vehicle failed to provide adequate occupant protection in a rollover, failed to provide adequate restraint throughout the entire accident, violated the principles of crashworthiness by not providing proper restraint and by not preventing ejection, and for failing to conduct adequate testing or proper engineering analysis.

Allegedly, the side curtain airbag failed to perform as designed because it became stuck or ensnared on the curtain rod, it failed to provide ejection mitigation, provide proper restraint, and prevent ejection and the seatbelt buckle failed to provide proper restraint and unlatched, which rendered other safety systems ineffective.

The Carpenters are seeking damages for disfigurement, physical and emotional pain, torment, mental anguish, emotional distress, loss of care, maintenance, support, services, advice, and counsel, loss of companionship and society, loss of consortium, medical expenses, funeral and burial expenses, interest and court costs.

The plaintiffs are represented by E. Todd Tracy and Stewart Matthews of The Tracy Firm in Dallas.

U.S. District Judge Leonard E. Davis is assigned to the case.

Case No. 6:12-cv-00805

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