A jury in Dallas recently determined that the seatbelt system in the 2011 Honda Odyssey is defective. The lawsuit claimed that the design of the seatbelt for the third-row middle seat was defective. The seatbelt design was a two-part system that required the rider to anchor the detachable shoulder strap from the ceiling of the van to the seat and then pull the belt across the users hips before it can buckle. Independent testing performed by an expert found that less than 10% of participants successfully operated the Honda Odyssey's two-part seatbelt system.
The fun involved with getting on a boat and participating in other water related recreational activities often causes us to forget that boats are motor vehicles too, and they have the same risks as the operation of car driven on the road. Recently in Mont Belvieu, which is just east of Houston, three men lost their lives while they were aboard a fishing boat when an intoxicated individual crashed a ski boat into them. Tragic incidents like this are a sobering reminder of the hidden dangers that exist as more people go on vacation now that summer is here.
Tesla Inc. has resolved the claims of six plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit filed against the company in California. The lawsuit was initially filed in December 2016 in the United States District Court for the Central District of California. According to the complaint, the Tesla Model X owner slowly pulled into his driveway and waited for his garage door to open when his vehicle suddenly sped forward and crashed through the interior wall of his garage before coming to rest in his living room. Both the driver and his passenger sustained injuries. The complaint asserts numerous causes of action against the manufacturer, including products liability claims, breach of warranty claims, negligence, and violations of several consumer protection laws. The lead plaintiff also sought class action status citing several other instances of sudden acceleration in Tesla's vehicles.
Fiat Chrysler is recalling nearly 50,000 Chrysler Pacifica eight-passenger minivans from the United States and Canada for malfunctioning seatbelts. During driving, engineers discovered that rapid side-to-side motions, similar to those made in sudden lane changes, could cause the center belt buckle to unlatch and consequently release the passenger.
On Thursday, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals allowed a patient's suit against the maker of a defective medical device, a hip replacement product, to proceed with part of his case, despite an objection by the product maker that the claim was preempted by federal regulations. The case was Bass v. Stryker Corporation (No. 11-10076).