Automobile accidents are one of the biggest sources of civil litigation. Here are some of the biggest settlements ever reached.
The Andersons vs General Motors
In 1993, the Anderson family was traveling in their Chevy Malibu when it was struck by a drunk driver. Thanks to the way the car was made and the area in which it was impacted, the fuel tank exploded – dousing the unfortunate family in flaming fuel and causing all of the family members to receive terrible wounds. All six Andersons were dreadfully injured in the explosion.
The family sued the General Motors company for their injuries – their attorneys arguing that the design of the car was inherently dangerous and irresponsible. General Motors resisted, taking the family to court. The Judge awarded the Andersons a whopping 4.9 billion dollars – much of which was in punitive charges leveled against General Motors.
Force vs Ford and Mazda
Seatbelts undoubtedly save lives – but not if they are faulty in the first place. Such a misfortune befell Mark Force in 1995 when his seatbelt malfunctioned during a head-on collision. Mark was flung through the windshield of his car and suffered brain injuries.
He sued Mazda and Ford, the makers of the faulty seatbelt, and won 32.5 million dollars. Most automotive personal injury claims are not settled for such vast amounts. If you want to know what kind of settlement you are entitled to seek, speak to professionals like the folks at Tamma Law Firm, P.C., Accident & Injury Lawyers.
Aguilar vs New York City Transit
In 2005, Gloria Aguilar had a bad day. A really bad day, as it would turn out. A New York City Transit bus ran over her leg just outside her apartment. It could not be saved and had to be amputated.
Gloria would eventually get generous compensation, but it took a great deal of fighting. When she sued, her case went to court and took around four years to conclude. In the end, the Judge decreed that she should receive 27.5 million dollars. Aguilar and her family were seen weeping in court after the verdict was handed down.
Multiple Claimants vs Toyota
Soon after the Prius hybrid car was released in the United States by Japanese vehicle manufacturer Toyota, things started going wrong for a number of owners. The ‘things’ in many cases turned out to be the brakes. Early hybrid cars like the Prius used a regenerative braking system. This means that the kinetic energy developed when the car slows down is used to recharge the battery. Sound great, right? Well, a software error in the regenerative braking system had the habit of forcing the brakes to disengage. This obviously caused crashes and injuries, not to mention a great deal of fear. Eventually, the company was forced to recall 8 million cars.
Before the cars could be recalled, over 30 class action lawsuits were filed against Toyota. Many of these included claims for personal injury compensation. It is unknown just how much Toyota lost to litigation, but the number is likely to be in the tens of millions of dollars.