Kia Motors is facing a wrongful death lawsuit after a woman was killed in a car accident in March of 2010.
As we mentioned earlier this week on our Fayetteville personal injury law blog, many factors can contribute to a serious or fatal auto accident. Drivers can certainly do their part to prevent causing an accident by making safe choices when behind the wheel and our state’s cities and counties can take responsibility to ensure that our roads are safe. But we must also not forget to hold car manufacturers accountable for designing and selling vehicles that are safe for consumers.
According to the family who filed the lawsuit against Kia Motors earlier this month, the seats in one of its Optima models are defective. This defect allegedly contributed to the wrongful death of their loved one.
The lawsuit states that the woman was a passenger in a Kia Optima. While traveling on the road, the vehicle was struck from behind by a drunk driver. When the crash occurred, both of the front air bags in the Kia deployed and the seats collapsed on the driver and passenger. They were both wearing seat belts. The lawsuit argues that the seats were defective and because the seats had collapsed in the Optima, the woman suffered spinal injuries.
According to the lawsuit, Kia Motors was aware of the seat malfunction that could occur during rear-end accidents and that this defect could cause injuries. In addition, the lawsuit argues that the dealer who sold the Optima and the company who made the seats also knew of the defect. Negligence occurred when none of the companies and manufacturers warned Optima buyers about the defect.
The family believes that other similar cases have been filed against these companies and that the companies have already disclosed information and testified in other court cases about purposefully creating the seats to fail in the type of collision that the woman was killed in.
Source: The Madison-St. Clair Record, “Kia Motors sued on wrongful death claims; Suit says Optima’s seats collapsed in accident,” Andrea Dearden, March 21, 2012