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California Auto Defects Lawyers File Product Liability Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Subaru

Orange County, CA (Vocus) March 2, 2010

The California personal injury attorneys of BISNAR CHASE (www.BestAttorney.com)] have filed a product liability wrongful death lawsuit against Subaru of America, Inc., Fuji Heavy Industries LTD. of Japan and Autoliv North America. The suit alleges that the 2001 Subaru Forester manufactured and sold by Subaru of America, Inc. and Fuji Heavy Industries LTD. of Japan and the Forester's occupant restraint system manufactured by Autoliv North America, failed to properly protect Lisa Ann Thayer during an October 2006 rollover crash that caused her ejection from the vehicle, leading to catastrophic injuries and death. The action was brought against the defendants by Emma Thayer, Lisa's minor daughter, who was a passenger in the vehicle at the time of the accident and who also sustained severe and permanent injuries, by and through her father, Gregory Jones.

"We allege the 2001 Subaru Forester Lisa was driving at the time of her death was defective in a multitude of ways and these auto defects, in combination, ultimately caused her demise," said John Bisnar of the BISNAR CHASE Orange County Auto Defects Law Firm. "The alleged defects include, but are not limited to, a defective restraint system, a defective window system, insufficient strength and structural integrity to withstand roof crushing forces, and insufficient lateral and roll stability. We contend the defendants knew about these defects yet they did nothing to warn Lisa, or the general public, about these defects."

2001 Subaru Forester Rollover Accident Causes Fatal Injuries

According to court records, Lisa Ann Thayer was the properly restrained driver of a 2001 Subaru Forester as she traveled west on Interstate I-40, approximately 1.6 miles east of Goffs Road in San Bernardino County, California, on October 27, 2006. Lisa's vehicle quickly veered onto the shoulder of the road, rotated clockwise, swerved across both lanes of traffic, rolled over multiple times and came to rest upside down on its roof. During the rollover crash, the seat belt webbing of her seat belt tore completely, thus leaving her totally unrestrained and then she was ejected from the vehicle and killed.

Her daughter, Emma Thayer, who was a passenger in the vehicle at the time of the crash, also sustained severe and permanent injuries in the crash.

Subaru May Have Known About Auto Defects

The lawsuit claims since 1970, the defendants have known that the use of unsupported, tempered glass in the side and rear windows of their vehicles was contributing to serious occupant ejection problems in side impact and rollover accidents. During that year, Roger P. Daniel, a Ford research engineer, published a technical paper in which he recommended the use of a metal framework along with laminated glass or ejection resistant glazing to better retain vehicle occupants, yet the defendants ignored the data and failed to make the recommended modifications to their vehicles.

In six separate reports published in 1984, 1985, 1989, 1995, 1999 and 2001, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) discussed at length the issue of vehicle design modifications to prevent occupant ejection, including the use of a modified window frame and either laminated windshield-type glass or another type of glazing. In spite of this knowledge and awareness, the lawsuit alleges that not only did the defendants ignore and suppress this data, they falsely misrepresented test data to make it appear as if their window systems were safe and non-defective in rollover and/or side skid accidents when in reality, the systems exposed occupants to serious head and spinal injuries due to their insufficient and defective nature.

Suit Alleges Subaru Ignored Safety Problems

Despite recommendations by engineers, the rollover propensity of the defendants' light trucks, vans and SUVs, and the ten year study of the issue of ejection by NHTSA and its recommendations for alternate window/door systems to prevent ejection, the suit alleges the defendants chose to ignore the inherent safety problems of rollover occupant ejection and took no action to prevent such debilitating injuries and deaths due to concern over cost penalties.

The action seeks economic damages for Emma, as the successor in interest to her mother's estate, for wrongful death, personal injuries, pain and suffering and permanency, medical expenses, and loss of past and future earnings and earning capacity. The lawsuit is pending in the Superior Court of California, County of Orange, case # 30-2008-00109807.


The BISNAR CHASE law firm's Orange County personal injury attorneys represent people who have been very seriously injured or lost a family member due to an accident, defective product or negligence throughout California. The auto defects law firm has won a wide variety of auto defect cases against most of the major auto manufacturers, including Ford, General Motors, Toyota, Nissan and Chrysler. Get a complimentary copy of Mr. Chase's auto defect book, Still Unsafe at Any Speed: Auto Defects that Cause Wrongful Deaths and Catastrophic Injuries. For more information, visit www.BestAttorney.com and www.ProductDefectNewsandAdviceBlog.com.

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