Girardi | Keese

Kia Motors sued for defective seats

As many California residents know, some car collisions are simply unavoidable. Even if we are safe drivers, sometimes, the negligence of another motorist will induce an accident. Fortunately, if we are involved in a serious accident, we have some security knowing that our vehicles are designed to protect us.

However, in recent news, the family of a deceased woman says a faulty seat in a Kia Optima caused the death of their loved one. For this reason, the family has filed a lawsuit against Kia Motors America and Kia Motors Corporation for the auto defect. Johnson Controls and Weber Granite City Chevrolet Company are also named as defendants. Additionally, the driver and owner of the vehicle has filed suit against these defendants for her injuries, which were sustained in the same accident.

According to the complaint, the diseased victim was sitting in the front passenger seat of a Kia Optima. Subsequently, the vehicle was hit from behind by a person who was allegedly driving drunk.

After the accident, the driver and passenger were found in the vehicle with both of their seats collapsed toward the rear. The plaintiffs say that the injuries from the crash caused both the driver and passenger to be hospitalized with back injuries. Unfortunately, the passenger ultimately died because of complications from a broken back and collapsed lung.

The injured motorist and the family of the diseased woman claim that Kia Motors knew of the defective seats. Furthermore, the complaint alleges that Kia Motors had knowledge of the potential for those seats to cause serious harm or death. Sources allege that the defendant companies testified in connection with other lawsuits that they had intended for their vehicles' front seats to fail in rear-impact collisions.

The plaintiffs are additionally suing the distributors of the vehicle for negligence. They claim that the defendants marketed a known defective product and failed to warn consumers of the dangers. A wrongful death claim has also been initiated.

Ultimately, the families seek medical expenses and court costs. The plaintiffs will probably never fully recover from the trauma of the incident. However, they may gain some measure of solace in holding responsible parties accountable.

Source: Madison Record, "Kia Motors sued on wrongful death claims; Suit says Optima's seats collapsed in accident," Andrea Dearden, March 21, 2012

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