Francois K. v. Defendant Automobile Manufacturer

  • Circuit Court of Grundy County, IL (Peterson)05/01/2006
    Client: Defendant Automobile Manufacturer
    Outcome: Defense Verdict

Synopsis:

An 18-year-old driver was killed, and her 19-year-old female passenger was seriously injured when they were involved in a single-vehicle rollover accident on Interstate 55 in Grundy County, Illinois.

Plaintiffs claimed that their vehicle was defective and unreasonably dangerous because its suspension design raised the vehicle’s center of gravity in foreseeable accident avoidance maneuvers at highway speeds.

The defense denied that allegation and claimed that the driver’s excessive steering maneuvers overwhelmed the vehicle’s inherent stability, causing it to slide out of control on the interstate pavement before rolling over in a grass and dirt ditch in the median.

Plaintiffs asked the jury to award between $6 and $11 million.

After a two-week trial, a Grundy County jury found in favor of the defendant automobile manufacturer and answered special interrogatories that the vehicle was not defective, and that the driver’s conduct was the sole proximate cause of the accident.

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