$14M Reward in Brain Injury Lawsuit

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A jury in Virginia found Hyundai to be responsible for the injuries to Zachary Duncan and awarded the victim $14 million dollars. In 2010, Duncan was in an accident while driving a Hyundai Tiburon that caused extensive damage to his brain. Duncan was 16 years old at the time when he lost control of his car. It left the road, hit a snow bank, rolled down a hill and collided with a tree. It was the roof of the car that struck the tree. The injury to his head was due to contact with a metal portion of the roof of the car.
Duncan’s lawyer argued that the injury would have been prevented if the side air bag would have deployed. It was the sensor for the air bag that was the problem. The sensor was placed in a location that prevented it from being effective. Hyundai has had problems with their airbags including a recall. They knew about this issue and did not correct it.  Since the time of the accident, Duncan has had to learn to walk and talk again. Because of damage to the frontal lobe, he experiences short term memory loss. The medical bills since the accident have added up to more than $100,000. These medical expenses will continue for the rest of Duncan’s life.
The automaker’s position was that they complied with all federal standards associated with airbags. The recall to fix their airbags was for the Elantra not the Tiburon and was due to a bracket that was coming loose when the airbag was deployed. Furthermore, Hyundai’s attorney argued that no airbag what have prevented the damage to Duncan’s head when the tree smashed down on the roof. Although the attorney expressed great sympathy for the plaintiff, the accident was a tragedy that did not involve the airbag.
The jury awarded $14 million on the basis of the legal concept that the car was unreasonably dangerous to drive. Hyundai has said they plan to appeal the verdict. The attorney for Duncan, Ari Casper, has said the verdict was a good one. The technology was both old and defective; someone was bound to get hurt.
A jury in Virginia found Hyundai to be responsible for the injuries to Zachary Duncan and awarded the victim $14 million dollars. In 2010, Duncan was in an accident while driving a Hyundai Tiburon that caused extensive damage to his brain. Duncan was 16 years old at the time when he lost control of his car. It left the road, hit a snow bank, rolled down a hill and collided with a tree. It was the roof of the car that struck the tree. The injury to his head was due to contact with a metal portion of the roof of the car.
Duncan’s lawyer argued that the injury would have been prevented if the side air bag would have deployed. It was the sensor for the air bag that was the problem. The sensor was placed in a location that prevented it from being effective. Hyundai has had problems with their airbags including a recall. They knew about this issue and did not correct it.  Since the time of the accident, Duncan has had to learn to walk and talk again. Because of damage to the frontal lobe, he experiences short term memory loss. The medical bills since the accident have added up to more than $100,000. These medical expenses will continue for the rest of Duncan’s life.
The automaker’s position was that they complied with all federal standards associated with airbags. The recall to fix their airbags was for the Elantra not the Tiburon and was due to a bracket that was coming loose when the airbag was deployed. Furthermore, Hyundai’s attorney argued that no airbag what have prevented the damage to Duncan’s head when the tree smashed down on the roof. Although the attorney expressed great sympathy for the plaintiff, the accident was a tragedy that did not involve the airbag.
The jury awarded $14 million on the basis of the legal concept that the car was unreasonably dangerous to drive. Hyundai has said they plan to appeal the verdict. The attorney for Duncan, Ari Casper, has said the verdict was a good one. The technology was both old and defective; someone was bound to get hurt.

 

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