$37.6 Million Verdict Against Honda in Defective Seat Belt Lawsuit

On February 13, 2019, a Texas jury returned a $37.6 million verdict against Honda, finding that the seat belt system in a Honda minivan had a design defect that left a woman paralyzed after the vehicle was involved in a rollover crash.

At the time of the accident, Sarah Milburn was sitting in the third-row middle seat of a 2011 Honda Odyssey when the minivan was struck by another vehicle. After sustaining life-altering spinal injuries in the accident, Milburn filed a lawsuit against Honda, alleging that the seat belt in the minivan, a two-part system requiring the passenger to connect a shoulder strap on the van’s ceiling to the seat and then pull the belt across her hips and buckle it, was defective. Specifically, Milburn asserted that she was not safely restrained in the seat belt, which caused her head to slam straight into the seat in front of her.

Although the seat belt in the Honda Odyssey complied with federal regulations, the jury found that the governing safety standards were inadequate to protect the public from unreasonable risks, and that Honda was negligent in designing the seat belt system.

According to a news release, Milburn’s family is hopeful that these findings will lead to the creation of “Sarah’s Law,” which would prevent car manufacturers from using this seat belt design in the future.

If you or someone you know has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, contact an attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling (713) 222-7211 or toll free at 713-222-7211.