Home -> Law Blog Directory -> Personal Injury Law Blogs -> The Injury Blog
(866) 635-2689 for Personal Injury or (866) 635-9402 for Criminal Defense
Find a Local Lawyer
Divorce (866) 635-6190
Personal Injury (866) 635-2689
Criminal Defense (866) 635-9402
Personal Injury Law: The Injury Blog
Court Approves $5 Million Jury Award in Jeep Accident Lawsuit
In a positive ending to a tragic story, a Louisiana appellate court recently upheld a large injury settlement award to a family who lost their young child in a tragic car accident.
Ten years ago, Juli Guillot was nine months pregnant when her Jeep Cherokee pinned her between the car and a brick column, causing irreparable brain damage to her unborn son who died shortly after birth.
According to reports, Guillot had left the parked car in order to retrieve a book from the back seat. Her husband had left the car in park, but due to a fault with the Jeep?s transmission, the car suddenly slipped into reverse, forcing her into the brick column.
A few years later, Mrs. Guillot and her husband filed a car accident lawsuit against DaimlerChrysler, the manufacturer of the car, claiming that the car?s faulty transmission caused the car to slip into reverse from park. The district court agreed, awarding the family $5 million for their tragic loss.
On appeal, DaimlerChrysler claimed that when the couple filed their original lawsuit, the Guillots had no idea that a faulty transmission caused the accident. Since they didn?t learn this until after the statute of limitations had passed, the car company argued that their claim was not warranted.
The appellate court rejected this argument, saying that the Guillots had initially presumed they had simply left the car in reverse, and that this notion wasn?t corrected by the investigating officer, who jumped to the same conclusion.
In fact, the Guillots may never have learned the truth if not for the efforts of a reporter at the Los Angeles Times. In 2001, the reporter contacted the Guillots, claiming that previous Jeep accidents had been caused by the faulty transmission. After they received this information, the Guillots promptly filed their personal injury lawsuit.
In its appeal, DaimlerChrysler also argued that the $5 million jury award was excessive. The court disagreed, saying that the award was warranted because ?the unique facts of this case are extraordinarily tragic.?
The facts, indeed, were horrific. After getting pinned between the car door and a brick column, the woman later gave birth to her son, Collin. However, due to the impact of the collision, Collin was born with irreversible brain damage and spent the few weeks of his brief life attached to life support.
The family was obviously pleased with the result, but Mr. Guillot took particular satisfaction knowing that the accident wasn?t his fault. The grieving husband initially took blame for accidentally leaving the car in reverse, saying he thought it was the only possible reason for the accident.
DaimlerChrysler was less than sympathetic for his loss, claiming throughout the trial that the accident was a result of driver error, not faulty engineering.
Unfortunately, the Guillots are not alone. Every day, people suffer injuries from car accidents, whether through the fault of other drivers or faulty equipment. If you?d like to seek justice for your car accident injury, contact a local attorney today.
Search Blog Directory: