Driver says defective Honda steering wheel caused collision

Kelly Holleran Aug. 16, 2013, 3:53pm

A woman has filed suit against American Honda Motor Co. Inc., saying that she crashed into a median due a defective steering wheel that did not allow her to quickly respond to another driver’s error.

According to the suit filed Aug. 5 in Jefferson County District Court, Niya Graves was driving east in the 4600 block of W. Cardinal Drive in Beaumont on Feb. 1, 2013, when a driver unexpectedly lost control of his vehicle and “lunged” toward hers. 

“Plaintiff Niya Graves attempted to take evasive action by steering her vehicle away from the lunging vehicle; however, the steering wheel on her vehicle was unresponsive to her control or direction,” the suit states. “Plaintiff’s vehicle crashed into the median.”

Because of the collision, Niya Graves and her infant son, Quantis Graves, who was riding in the backseat, incurred medical costs and experienced physical pain and mental anguish, according to the complaint. Niya Graves also incurred property damages, the complaint says.

Niya Graves says Honda is liable for her injuries because it negligently designed its vehicle in such a way that its steering wheel was defective.

She also names Mike Smith Autoplaza as a defendant, saying it breached its warranty with her by refusing to honor it when she brought the vehicle in to have repair work performed on it.

GEICO is named as a defendant as well.

In her complaint, Niya Graves is seeking unspecified damages, plus costs, pre- and post-judgment interest at the highest legal rate and other relief the court deems just.

Ryan M. Schaper of Provost Umphrey Law Firm in Beaumont will be representing her.

The case has been assigned to Judge Bob Wortham, 58th District Court.

Case No. A194-600

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