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California Wrongful Death Attorneys File Lawsuit against General Motors

By Bisnar Chase on June 30, 2009 - No comments

The California personal injury lawyers at Bisnar | Chase have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against General Motors, GMC Truck Division; Takta Restraint Systems, a seatbelt manufacturer and Dave Smith Motors, a Wyoming car dealer. The auto product liability lawsuit we have filed on behalf of our client alleges that General Motors and the co-defendants acted with callous disregard for the safety of Joanna Campbell, who died in a rollover car accident while riding in a GMC sport utility vehicle. We have filed this lawsuit on behalf of Paula Savino for Campbell’s surviving adult children. We are seeking compensatory and punitive damages on the family’s behalf.

The fatal rollover accident occurred July 10, 2007 when Carmen L. Todd lost control of her 2002 GMC Yukon Denali on Interstate 90 in Wyoming. The SUV rolled over, crushing its roof and causing it to cave in. Campbell, who was a passenger, was partially ejected. She suffered a severe skull fracture, which proved to be fatal. Our auto product liability attorneys are alleging in the lawsuit that the seatbelt manufacturer and car dealer sold this SUV without warning consumers about its defective and unsafe seat restraint system.

Further, the vehicle’s pillars, windshield headers and roof rails were weak and lacked the structural integrity to withstand the roof crushing forces to protect occupants during a rollover accident. The GMC Yukon’s defective window system does not comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. In this case, it failed to reduce injuries resulting from the impact and failed to restrain Campbell during this rollover car crash.

For the last 40 years, General Motors has known that using unsupported, tempered glass in the side and rear windows has contributed to serious occupant ejection problems in side-impact and rollover car accidents. In 1984, federal auto safety authorities advised GM that ejection through unsupported glass areas accounted for about 60 percent of all ejections. Moreover, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that their own dynamic rollover tests demonstrated that a modified frame, along with either laminated windshield-type glass or other glass-plastic glazing could eliminate most ejections through glass openings. In fact, GM received the data from these studies and also participated in these NHTSA studies.” GM also received result of subsequent NHTSA studies in 1996, which showed that the improved design would reduce driver death in rollover accidents by 86 percent and passenger deaths by 90 percent!

However, GM did nothing to make these improvements that would have saved thousands of lives at very little cost. Our client, Joanna Campbell, her family and thousands of other families have suffered grief, loss and extreme hardship because of GM’s callous disregard for the safety and well-being of consumers. We will fight for our clients’ rights and make sure GM is held accountable for putting these dangerous and defective auto products in the market.


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Bisnar | Chase serves all of California. In addition, we represent clients in other states through our associations with local law firms. Through the local firm, we will be admitted to practice law in their state, pro hac vice, meaning "for this particular occasion." When in our client's interest, we employ the local law firm (at no additional cost to our client) to assist us with routine court appearances and discovery proceedings to more efficiently pursue our client's cause.

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