Our 42 year old client was driving on I 494 in Bloomington after having consumed a few alcoholic drinks. He was in the far-left lane driving at highway speed and, realizing he was about to pass his exit, cut across all three traffic lanes. He missed the exit and hit the curb causing his vehicle to flip several times with him being ejected from the vehicle. He landed on the back of his neck severing his spine rendering him quadriplegic for the rest of his life.
An inspection of the vehicle he had been driving revealed that the door handle was designed in such a way that the door would open, even if locked, if struck by an occupant’s knee. There was nothing around the handle that would prevent this from happening in a roll-over accident which is exactly what was determined had occurred. A lawsuit was commenced against the vehicle manufacturer alleging negligent design of the door and door handle.
The matter was settled for $500,000 (a lot of money in 1991 when the settlement occurred) after the report of the engineer who had discovered the defect was presented to the vehicle manufacturer.
Jim is a very experienced trial lawyer having conducted jury trials in multiple states both on behalf of injured people and on behalf of defending insurance companies.