En Español

Auto Defect Case Press Releases

California Auto Defects Lawyers File Wrongful Death Lawsuit against Ford

San Bernardino, CA (PRWEB) August 17, 2009

The California personal injury lawyers of Bisnar Chase (www.BestAttorney.com ) have filed a product liability injury lawsuit against Ford Motor Corporation, Continental Tire Corporation, TRW Vehicle Safety Systems, Chino Hills Ford, and Beceril Tire Shop. The suit alleges that the 2003 Ford Expedition SUV manufactured by Ford and sold by Chino Hills Ford failed to properly protect Griselda Bernardino during an August 2007 rollover crash that caused her to suffer severe and permanent crushing head and spinal injuries. The rollover also ejected and severely injured Ayari Martinez, Alonso Martinez, Diana and Bianca Orozco (both minors) and Maleni Elizardi (also a minor). The action was brought against the defendants by the aforementioned plaintiffs.

California Auto Defects Lawyers File Product Liability Injury Action Against Ford

The rollover that precipitated the legal action occurred when Griselda Bernardino, driving within the legal speed limit, lost control of the Ford Expedition after its left rear tire tread separated from the tire. This caused the Expedition to initially veer left, causing Griselda's vehicle to oversteer. At this point, the SUV's tires exceeded their maximum cornering speed, causing the SUV to roll due to its high center of gravity and comparatively narrow track width. As a result, Ayari Martinez, Alonso Martinez, Diana Orozco, Bianca Orozco, and Maleni Elizardi were ejected from the SUV, and other passengers were partially ejected, sustaining major injuries including major lacerations.

"We're alleging that the lateral instability of the Expedition made it highly unlikely that anyone but a professional driver would have been able to regain control of this SUV," said John Bisnar of the Bisnar Chase auto defects law firm. "We're alleging the blame sits squarely on this SUV's high center of gravity and narrow track width."

Oversteer Problem Correctable with Existing Low-Cost Technology

The plaintiffs note that the Expedition did not have Electronic Stability Control (Ford's AdvanceTrac electronic stability enhancement system), which plaintiffs contend would have sensed the vehicle's oversteer and automatically adjusted the brakes and throttle to allow Griselda to maintain control.

"Ford's AdvanceTrac stability control system was readily available and offered as an option by Ford in the 2003 Expedition at relatively little additional cost," noted John Bisnar. "AdvanceTrac was touted by Ford as automatically adjusting braking and throttle to match the vehicle's direction to the driver's intention should the system sense an oversteer or understeer condition. It's our contention that had AdvanceTrac been installed in this Expedition, it would have dampened and mitigated the dynamic oscillations and oversteer in the laterally unstable SUV sufficiently to prevent Griselda's loss of control and rollover following her evasive maneuver. AdvanceTrac should have been installed as standard equipment, not offered as an option, given the Expedition's propensity for lateral instability and rollovers."

Defective Roof and Unsafe Restraint Systems Alleged

The plaintiffs also allege that when the Expedition rolled over, the SUV's A, B,C and D pillars, windshield headers and roof rails lacked the strength to withstand the SUV's weight while inverted. This caused a roof crush inward toward the vehicle's occupants, including Alonso Martinez, who suffered severe and permanent head and spinal cord injury.

Plaintiffs further allege that the Expedition suffered from a defective and unsafe restraint system, including seat buckles, seat belts, shoulder belts and retractors. They contend the SUV suffered from false latching, inertial unlatching, inadvertent unlatching, lack of pre tensioners, and retractor failure. The plaintiffs also contend that the defendants knew these parts and systems would fail to restrain an occupant in the event of a rollover and/or side slip/skid accident.

Plaintiffs Say Unsafe Side Windows and No Side Airbags Contributed to Injuries

Defective and unsafe use of tempered glass and glazing deficiencies in the Expedition's side windows, and the lack of side curtain air bags, both contributed to the injuries sustained in the accident, plaintiffs allege. "We're saying that the defendants knew that laminated glass and/or proper glazing would have prevented the total shattering of the side window during the side impact collision, and that serious injuries could have been prevented had this readily available technology been used in this SUV," noted John Bisnar. "It's our belief that since 1970, the defendants knew that the use of tempered side and rear window glass was contributing to serious occupant ejection problems in side impact and rollover accidents."

Defective Door Latch, Unsafe Seat Backs and Defective Tires Alleged

The plaintiffs contend that a defective and unsafe driver's side door latch failed to hold the door onto the SUV during the rollover accident. Also claimed as unsafe and defective were the Expedition's seats and seat backs, which failed to perform during the accident, causing plaintiff Jesus Orozco severe neck and other injury. "Again, despite the availability of simple methods to correct these auto defects, as recommended by defendants' own automotive engineers, the defendants chose to ignore this inherent safety problem," contends John Bisnar.

Additionally, the plaintiffs assert that the Continental ContiTrac SUV tires used on the Expedition were unreasonably dangerous for their intended use on the Expedition by non-professional drivers. The plaintiffs claim that the belts in these tires are improperly placed and spliced in that air or moisture (or both) was trapped between the rubber components during their manufacture. It's further alleged that these tires lack sufficient rubber at the belt edges, and lack sufficient and proper gum edge strips to reduce the hazard of tread belt separation. The plaintiffs allege that defendants knew that safer alternative designs were economically and technologically feasible.

The case is pending in the Superior Court of California, County of San Bernardino, Rancho Cucamonga District, case number CIVRS908505.

About Bisnar Chase

Bisnar Chase California 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. For more information, read "Still Unsafe At Any Speed: Auto Defects That Cause Wrongful Deaths and Catastrophic Injuries" by Brian Chase and see http://www.ProductDefectNewsAndAdviceBlog.com.

Have a question that wasn't answered here?

(800) 561-4887

Was This Page Helpful? Yes | No

Client Reviews of Bisnar Chase

“BISNAR | CHASE did a great job in representing me. Jerusalem Beligan and the entire staff impressed me every step of the way. From the moment I walked through the door I knew I was going to be taken care of, and I was.”

by Gloria C.

reviewed at Yelp

“While my wrongful death case is still being decided I really love how this firm cares for the people they represent I feel so much better after talking with Doug on a monthly basis he reassures me things will be okay. Looking for to ending this real soon but I am very thankful to Bisnar and Chase for all they do!”

by Karla Hawley

reviewed at Facebook

“John and Brian handled a pi case over 10 years ago. I fill [sic] real lucky to have had them on my side. They are the best. No doubt about it thanks. Walter temple”

by Walter Temple

reviewed at Facebook

See All Ratings And Awards

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

    on whether or not you would owe money if your case was lost

  • “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

    on his philosophy on running a law firm

  • “The insurance companies are going to be investigating that accident the day it happens. You need to have a lawyer on your side the day it happens as well.”

    Brian Chase

    on when you should contact an attorney

  • “The first thing we want to do with our clients is to relieve the stress. Make them feel comfortable. Treat them as an honored guest.”

    John Bisnar

    on how he would define superior client representation

  • “It's hard to answer that question right up front without a thorough analysis. What I can guarantee you is, with the resources of Bisnar | Chase we will maximize the value of your case.”

    Brian Chase

    on what your case is worth

Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys
1301 Dove St #120
Newport Beach, CA 92660

local: (949) 203-3814
Get Directions

California Personal Injury Blog