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Jury Awards $14.9 Million to Crash Victim

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On April 30, 2012, Marcia Gray was driving on Interstate 580 in Oakland, California. A car accident in front of her vehicle caused Ms. Gray to break suddenly to avoid the wreck. As a result, a Chevrolet pickup truck struck her 1995 Mazda Protégé from behind.

Ms. Gray brought suit against the driver of the Chevrolet pickup truck and Mazda. Ms. Gray's attorney stated due to the truck striking her from behind, Ms. Gray's seat back was crushed. This caused her to fold over "like a clamshell." Due to the violent motion of the seat, Ms. Gray suffered thirteen crushed ribs, fractured spine, and brain injury. Her spinal injury caused her to be partially paraplegic; she has limited movement and can only walk with the aid of a cane.

Although the crash from the Chevrolet pickup truck would have caused considerable damage alone, the severity of Ms. Gray's injuries was primarily caused by the collapse of the seat. A gear mechanism on the left of the driver's side caused the seat to collapse backward in a collision to absorb the energy of the crash. But this component of the seat placed Ms. Gray in more danger. Further, Mazda knew about the defects in the seat through crash testing in 1995. Mazda continued to use this design through 1998 and never recalled the seat.

As a result, a jury awarded Ms. Gray $14.9 million verdict on Friday, April 1, 2016. The jury found Mazda 55 percent responsible and the driver of the Chevrolet pickup truck was found 45 percent responsible.

If you or someone you know is a victim of a motor vehicle accident or product defect, it is important to understand your right to recover. Contact an attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Friend by calling 713-222-7211 or toll free at 1-800-870-9584 for a confidential consultation.

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