PLAINTIFFS: VW SHOWED CONSCIOUS INDIFFERENCE TO CONSEQUENCES
April 1, 2011
A 2006 Volkswagen Beetle was involved in a terrible accident two years ago this week. The parents of one of the victims, a 6-year-old girl, recently filed a lawsuit against the automaker. They claim that the vehicle’sdefective design was not only responsible for their daughter’s death, but that VW’s failure to use an alternative design indicated a “conscious indifference to the consequences of its acts.”
The three-car accident started with the collision of a BMW and a Mercedes-Benz. The Mercedes, spinning out of control, crossed the median and collided with the Beetle. The driver of the Mercedes, his wife and two children were killed. In the Beetle, the driver, who is one of the plaintiffs in the case, was seriously injured.
According to court documents, her daughter was riding in the back seat. She died when the seat belt severed her at the torso.
The lawsuit alleges that their daughter could have survived if VW had equipped the car with safer restraints. The restraint the manufacturer opted for was unreasonably dangerous, the complaint continues.
The seat belt was dangerous because its “inadequate seat belt geometry” resulted in a restraint system that didn’t fit children properly or safely. The design of the seat pan was also flawed.
Further, the parents say that VW had another design available for Beetles, a design that was safer and no more expensive to install. The alternative design would have reduced the danger to their daughter without affecting the vehicle’s utility.
The girl’s parents are also suing the driver of the Mercedes, who left the scene of the accident and attempted to cover up her involvement. It took the police 10 days to find the repaired, repainted Mercedes.
Source: Westlaw News & Insight, “Suit filed against VW over crash that killed five and sent two women to prison,” 04/11/11