Montgomery Co. man's lawsuit accuses Toyota of making defective airbag

By John Suayan, Galveston Bureau | Jul 8, 2013

GALVESTON - A Montgomery County man claims he was involved in a two-vehicle accident last year in which an airbag failed to deploy, recent court documents say.

J. William Soderman is suing Toyota in Galveston County District Court, having initiated legal action over the June 22, 2012, incident in question on June 28.

Soderman explains that he was a passenger in his 2010 Lexus when motorist Jillian Dougherty, of Jamaica Beach, reportedly hit the vehicle with hers.

According to the plaintiff, his airbag did not deploy as it "erroneously indicated that no one was in the seat."

"The vehicle was defectively designed so as to render them unreasonably dangerous to users and to William Soderman," the suit says.

"Specifically, the design allowed for an airbag to not deploy when someone was sitting in the seat during a collision."

The suit also states that Toyota is responsible for a manufacturing defect.

The original petition adds that Soderman sustained a brain injury.

Dougherty is also being sued on grounds her negligence caused the subject event that is the focus of the litigation.

Consequently, Soderman seeks more than $1 million in damages and a jury trial.

He is represented by attorney W. Mark Lanier of The Lanier Law Firm P.C. in Houston.

Galveston County 212th District Court Judge Susan Criss is presiding over the case.

Case No. 13-CV-841

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