En Español

Defective Automobile Seatback Video

Attorney Brian Chase of Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys Discusses the Dangers of Defective Car Seats on FOX 11 News Los Angeles

Video Transcription

When you are in a car crash, you are protected by seatbelts and airbags in the front and more air bags on the side. But what happens when you are rear ended and get thrown backwards? Phil Shoeman reports on a deadly gap in safety regulations as Fox Eleven investigates dangerous and defective car seats.

Many of the drivers never saw what hit them. A rear end collision the car seat breaks. The impact is devastating.

"I actually thought she was dead."

"I would probably never walk again."

"They told me not to expect her to make it through the night."

Critics say weak regulations mean most car seats are so flimsy they can be death traps in rear end crashes, even at slow speeds.

"My eight year old daughter shouldn't be dead in a fender bender."

Many safety experts say that beneath the plush padding of most car seats is a metal frame that is little more than a glorified aluminum beach chair. They say the seat that's supposed to have your back often doesn't.

"I was just waiting at a stoplight."

Jacqueline Romine was taking her boyfriend home from work when a pickup rear ended them. The pickup driver was thrown forward into the seatbelt and airbag, but the rear end collision had thrown Jacqueline backward.

"I felt like I was going backward in slow motion."

Her protection the car's seat collapsed hurling her headfirst into the back.

"She just immediately broke out into tears saying she couldn't feel her legs."

Paramedics rushed her to the hospital where doctors found she had broken her neck in four places.

"The bone was completely crushed."

She's now a paraplegic in a wheelchair.

"I'm paralyzed from the chest down."

Romine's attorney Brian Chase specializes in auto defects lawsuits. He's still working her case. He says she's paralyzed because of a widespread problem.

"I would say 95+% of all vehicles on the road, which is tens of millions, all have this defect in it.

He says this defect is the weakness of the frames and gears in the car seats even when they meet the government standards.

"The problem is that we have a watered down safety standard."

He's talking about National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or NHTSA Regulation 207…long a target of safety consultants like Paul Sheridan.

"Any seat that merely complies with 207 places that occupant at risk. So it is everyone, it's just about everyone."

So the allegation that car seats are just glorified aluminum lawn chairs?

"The flimsy lawn chair would get through the federal regulations as they are currently written."

Sheridan says that means even low speed crashes can be fatal.

"A 15 MPH rear impact will collapse most of the seats that merely comply with 207."

Stephanie Collins she was out driving with her mother and daughter Crystal.

"My daughter was sitting behind me. "

They were struck from behind at about 30 MPH, Stephanie's seat gave away into Crystal.

"She was making a gurgling sound, it wasn't right."

Crystal died at the hospital.

"That's the actual car. You can see both defective car seats are laid down."

Chase reconstructed that accident in a crash test like this one.

"Stephanie Collin's head went back and struck her 9 year old daughter in the chest and ruptured her aorta."

Damage to vehicles was minor. Sheraton says that government's own tests clearly demonstrate the problems and have for years.

Sheratons says the answer is simple, require stronger seats already common in cars like Mercedes and a few American Cars like the Chrysler Sea Bring. The cost to fix it?

"I would estimate anywhere $5 - $6 and we have a safe front seat."

Nobody has been tracking just how many deaths and injuries have been caused by defective car seats. But the relatively low cost to fix these enrages those who have already paid such a huge price. They are calling for change.

"They could have done something about this before it killed my child."

Phil Shoeman for Fox 11 News.

Poor Mother. Well, The National Highway Safety Administration didn't respond to our request for comment. Congress is holding hearings this week on major reforms to regulators in the wake of the Toyota recall.

For questions or to discuss your case, please call 949-203-3814.

Have a question that wasn't answered here?

(800) 561-4887

Was This Page Helpful? Yes | No

Client Reviews of Bisnar Chase

“I don’t even know where to start, because I really wanted to write this recommendation even if there was no star or rating to be given! My daughter and I were in a bad car accident in 2011. She received a broke jaw, broken pelvic, broken arm, and a ruptured ear drum. I prayed to the lord while I was in ICU to guide me and send me to the right attorney that would help me and my daughter and not just look at us as a monetary opportunity. After much research I choose Bisnar Chase.
After spending 2 months in the ICU, we were in a long recovery process. Learning to walk, to eat due to wire shut for months! Back to the basic all over again… 4 years later it just came to an end! I tell you I have 2 different paralegals assisting me but Colleen Cadogan was the best I had this past year… This lady, emailed me, called me, send me words of encouragement almost every week! When I least expect it and I had a horrible day or had many questions and concerns she was there! As the paralegal doing her job, but also as a human being, a mother, a wife….just genuinely concern for my daughter and I. As the case came to a close….I will always remember the team of professionals and I would recommended Bisnar Chase to anyone….and be patient, patience”

by Maria Vasquez

reviewed at Google+

“Were very helpful, even if you don't hire them. Sent them some questions by email of my case and were very fast on getting back to me with sound advice. Didn't end up needing to get a lawyer, and it was very comendable on their part to be honest with their advice.”

by Denisse S.

reviewed at Yelp

“My car accident happened in April. I called Bisnar Chase, and was able to get information that helped me deal with the insurance on my own. They didn't take my case, but Mary took my call both times I called; she was so very helpful!! I hope I don't need them again, but if I do, I know they'll help me. FIVE STARS!!”

by Amy Leone

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