Dan Irving Cytryn, Esq.: January 2010 Archives

January 29, 2010

Ford Settles Explorer Accident Case that Left Woman Paralyzed

Ford recently settled for a confidential amount with a woman who was paralyzed in a 2005 collision involving a 2002 Ford Explorer. This decision came after a jury considered punitive damages and had already ordered Ford to pay over $16 million to compensate for negligently designed rear seats and seat belt structure on the Ford Explorer.

Lynn Wheeler was a passenger in the Explorer when it was struck head on by another driver. She was riding in the back seat between the booster seats her grandchildren were sitting in. The only thing restraining Wheeler was a lap belt. Upon impact, the rear seat latch broke, causing the back seat to collapse on her. Her head and neck were pushed forward into the center console, resulting in devastating spinal cord injuries. She is now in a wheelchair and on a ventilator.

Wheeler's lawsuit challenged Ford's decision to install a lap belt instead of a three-point shoulder belt and accused Ford of negligently designing the rear seat latch. Now, thanks to a law that went into effect in 2007, automobile manufacturers are forbidden from installing lap-only seat belts for rear middle seats.

Ford argued that it met government safety standards and defended its decision to install lap belts in the Explorer's rear bench seat.

The jury sided with Wheeler - Ford was ordered to pay over $16 million in damages. The driver who collided into the Explorer was ordered to pay $1.2 million.

Ford has been in the press several times in relation to rollover accidents. A California woman's rollover accident involving her 1997 Ford Explorer is an example of one major case where Ford was under fire for being prone to rollovers. The woman sued Ford when the roof on her Explorer collapsed on her during her rollover accident. She became paralyzed as a result of the spinal injuries she suffered in the accident. The jury found Ford was aware the roof on the Explorer would collapse during a rollover accident, and awarded her over $82 million.

Each year, thousands of people are injured or killed in SUV accidents. Vehicle manufacturers have a responsibility to make safe vehicles for consumers. At the same time, consumers should be armed with as much knowledge as possible before buying a vehicle. The following websites contain important vehicle information:

Safercar.gov is a government website that has information on crash test ratings, recalls, safer driving tips, etc.

Consumerreports.org is a nonprofit established to protect consumers and offer objective product reviews.

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety provides vehicle ratings, statistics, news and more.

Dan Irving Cytryn is a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer handling injury and accident cases for more than 29 years. He has received a 10.0 rating on AVVO, a lawyer rating service, which is the highest rating given for a lawyer. He is also rated the highest ability and ethics rating, "AV", by Martindale Hubbell, a company rating lawyers for more than 100 years.

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January 26, 2010

Deadly Baby Cribs and Dangerous Strollers Recalled

A major recall is in effect for Dorel Asia cribs and Graco strollers after reports of an infant's death from strangulation in his crib and finger amputations from stroller hinge mechanisms.

A 6-month-old boy from Iowa died of strangulation after becoming trapped in his own crib due to malfunctioning hardware. The crib was manufactured by Dorel Asia, which has recalled over 600,000 cribs sold by major retailers including Wal-Mart. The company is recalling 20 models of cribs that can pose a suffocation or strangulation hazard if their drop sides detach. The cribs also pose a risk of children becoming trapped in the cribs due to broken slats. The company has received several reports of children being trapped, bruised and scratched due to these cribs.

Following five reports of finger amputations and two reports of cuts due to the hinges in stroller canopies, Graco has recalled 1.5 million strollers manufactured from October 2004 to February 2008. The recall affects the Spree, Passage and Alano Strollers and Travel Systems. The manufacture dates can be found above the back wheels, on the lower inside part of the back frame.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced the strollers present a laceration and amputation threat to children when canopies were opened or closed. The commission has advised consumers to stop using the strollers and contact Graco to obtain a free repair kit.

A personal injury lawyer experienced in handling dangerous and defective product lawsuits can protect your rights and fight for the compensation you may be legally entitled to. If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a dangerous product, contact us today for a free consultation.

Dan Irving Cytryn is a Board Certified Trial Lawyer handling injury to children and dangerous product cases for more than 29 years.

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