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Auto Defect Case Press Releases

California Auto Defects Lawyers File Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against General Motors

Newport Beach, CA (Vocus) March 24, 2010

The California auto defects lawyers of BISNAR CHASE (www.BestAttorney.com ) have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against General Motors Corporation, TK Holdings, Inc., also doing business as Takata Seatbelts, Inc., and Falls Ford-Lincoln-Mercury of Corbin, Kentucky. The suit alleges that the 2002 GMC Envoy, manufactured by GMC and sold by Falls Ford-Lincoln-Mercury, and the Envoy's restraint system, manufactured by Takata Seatbelts, Inc., failed to protect Joanna Campbell from fatal injuries during a July 2007 rollover crash. The action was brought against the defendants by Joanna's husband, Bobby Campbell, and is currently pending in the Knox Circuit Court, in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, case # 08-C1-385.

Defective GMC Envoy Causes Devastating Rollover Crash, Fatality

On July 21, 2007, Joanna Campbell was the properly restrained driver of a 2002 GMC Envoy as she traveled south on Highway 459, Walker Park Road, in Barbourville, Knox County, Kentucky. According to court documents, the Envoy's alleged defects caused it to veer to the right of the roadway, tumble across a creek, strike an embankment and flip end-over-end until coming to rest on its roof. During the rollover crash, Joanna was partially ejected from the vehicle, suffering catastrophic injuries that led to her death a short time after the accident at Knox County Hospital.

GMC Envoy Defects Included Unsafe Restraint System, Weak Roof Design

The lawsuit claims that the GMC Envoy Joanna was driving at the time of her death was defective and that an ineffective restraint system, weak roof design, defective window system and insufficient directional, lateral and roll stability were the cause of her fatal injuries.

"Joanna was the innocent victim of a variety of GMC Envoy defects that, in combination, offered zero protection to her during this horrific rollover crash," said Brian Chase of the BISNAR CHASE Auto Products Liability Law Firm. "What's most tragic is that the defendants were very well aware these defects existed and yet they did nothing to make design modifications to protect the safety of their customers, nor did they warn the general public, or Joanna, that these defects existed."

According to the lawsuit, not only was the GMC Envoy's seatbelt system defective and prone permitting an occupant to strike the roof of a vehicle during rollover accidents, its A, B, C and D pillars/windshield headers and roof rails lacked sufficient strength and structural integrity to withstand roof crushing forces. What's more, the suit claims the Envoy's window system was defective in that it created openings during the crash sequence through which Joanna's body was partially ejected, versus preventing occupant ejection upon impact to the glazing surfaces in non-defective designs. Finally, the lawsuit claims the GMC Envoy lacked sufficient directional, lateral and roll stability that would have prevented it from veering and rolling over.

GMC Allegedly Ignored Envoy Defects

Despite window modification recommendations by engineers, a ten year study of the issue of occupant ejection by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the rollover propensity of the defendants' light trucks, vans and SUVs, the lack of sufficient roof strength and structural integrity, and knowledge about its defective seatbelt system, the lawsuit alleges the defendants chose to ignore the Envoy's inherent safety problems and took no action to prevent such debilitating injuries and deaths to avoid added costs, bad publicity and an expensive recall.

"We allege that not only did GMC refuse to make design modifications to its Envoy due to financial interests, it acted in further reckless and callous disregard by misrepresenting test results and adverse crash test data to prove its vehicles were safe when in fact, its vehicles were not safe," said Chase. "Joanna's unnecessary death is proof of this fact."

The action seeks economic damages for wrongful death, medical expenses, loss of past and future earnings and earning capacity, past mental and physical pain, suffering and inconvenience, and loss of consortium.


The BISNAR CHASE Auto Defect Attorneys represent people throughout the country who have been very seriously injured or lost a family member due to motor vehicle defects. The law firm has won a variety of challenging auto defect cases against General Motors, Ford Motor Co., Chrysler and many of the foreign manufacturers.

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The BISNAR CHASE Difference

  • “I was in a serious auto accident when I was in law school. I had to hire a personal injury attorney and had a really bad experience.”

    John Bisnar

    on what made him want to become a personal injury attorney

  • “If you hire Bisnar | Chase and we don't recover money for you in your case, you owe us absolutely nothing.”

    Brian Chase

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  • “Whatever the philosphy of the management is, is going to be carried through by the employees and it’s going to reflect on the experience the clients have.”

    John Bisnar

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