Rosanna Turner Jul. 27, 2015, 1:42pm


A Shelby County woman is suing Chrysler and Geico, alleging wrongful death in her husband's passing. 

Ramona Smith, as temporary administrator of the estate of her deceased husband Arthur Melton Smith, and Tara Cheyenne Smith, Ramona Allen and Glenda Zimmer filed a lawsuit June 8 in U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Texas against Chrysler Group and Geico Casualty Company, alleging wrongful death, negligence and carelessness. 

According to the complaint, on June 9, 2013, Arthur Smith was driving a 2013 Jeep Wrangler on state Highway 259 near the intersection of County Road 186 in Kilgore and, without notice, a hidden defect beneath the chassis of the Jeep caused a loss of transmission function and/or a fire that caused the vehicle to crash and strike a bridge column, killing Smith.

On June 11, 2013, two days after Smith’s death, the suit states, Ramona Smith received a safety recall notice from Chrysler concerning the vehicle for the first time.

The plaintiffs allege Chrysler committed breach of warranty, violated the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act and breach of Texas Insurance Code.

Ramona Smith and her fellow plaintiffs seek damages of an unspecified amount, plus court costs. They are represented by attorney Rebecca C. Brightwell of Lufkin.

U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Texas case number 1:15-cv-00218.

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