Nissan Found Liable for Automotive Design Defect

In the summer of 2006, Larry Clanton was driving his Nissan Altima to meet friends at the Jersey Shore. Before he made it to his destination, a 73-pound runaway tire bounced toward him and cracked the roof of his car. The accident caused a severe neck fracture that left Clanton with permanent debilitating injuries.

Recently, a jury in Essex County awarded Clanton $4.2 million in his lawsuit against Nissan, finding that the roof’s header panel was improperly attached and defective. This lawsuit could have nationwide implications for crashes involving Nissan Altimas manufactured between 2002 and 2006.

In a products liability action against an automotive manufacturer or seller, the plaintiff must establish that—

  • The vehicle when sold contained the defect that created an unreasonable risk of injury, property damage or death
  • The plaintiff used the vehicle for its intended purpose
  • The defect caused the plaintiff’s injuries or damages

An automotive products liability case may involve several different factors:

  • Inadequacies in the original vehicle design
  • Defects in the design or manufacture of vehicle parts
  • Improper assembly
  • Failure to warn users about dangers inherent in a vehicle’s use

Florida highways tend to be a hotspot for traffic crashes. In 2011, there were 227,998 driving accidents across the state. This resulted in 180,000 injuries, 2,400 deaths and countless dollars in property damage. However, the carnage following a crash can have more than one source. A driver may be partly at fault for causing the crash, but the vehicle’s manufacturer or seller may be responsible for exacerbating the injuries. If the vehicle contained a design defect that resulted in injury, property damage or death, the vehicle’s manufacturer or seller can be held responsible in a civil lawsuit.

If an automotive design defect injured you or a loved one, consult a skilled and knowledgeable attorney to help get you compensation. At the Law Office of Paul B. Genet, P.A., our legal team has a proven track record fighting for victims of defective products. Call the experienced Florida automotive products liability attorneys at our office today.

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