Minivan Mechanical Failure Leads to Vehicle Rollover, Results in $15.7 Million Verdict for Six Injured Victims
By Dean I Weitzman, Esq. on March 22nd, 2013
A family drive to New York turned tragic in March 2008 for a Philadelphia doctor when the rented minivan she was driving suffered a major mechanical failure in its front suspension and steering, causing the van to go out of control and plunge down a ravine.
The crash, which left the doctor with little use of her left arm due to severe injuries, has resulted in a $11.4 million damage verdict for the doctor, and an additional $4.3 million in damages to five other passengers who were also injured in the crash, according to a March 21 story in The Legal Intelligencer.
The 2006 Toyota Sienna minivan had been rented for the trip from PhillyCarShare, a local vehicle sharing and rental company, and had its maintenance performed regularly by the Central City Toyota dealership in Philadelphia, the story reported.
Dr. Noreen Lewis was driving the minivan on the trip “when the minivan’s ball joint mechanically failed and [the vehicle left the roadway and] rolled over down a ravine,” the story said.
Central City Toyota was sued by the plaintiffs for not maintaining the vehicle properly prior to the crash. The minivan was inspected by Central City Toyota on December 3, 2007, just three months before the incident. The dealership had argued in court that there was no evidence that the vehicle’s ball joint was bad when the vehicle was inspected, according to the Intelligencer.
Instead, Central City Toyota argued that the minivan’s ball joint was damaged when the car rolled, the story reported. ” The dealership also argued that Lewis was at fault because the Toyota was being driven at too high of a speed for a wet roadway, court papers said.”
The jury, however, disagreed after a five-week trial in Philadelphia, ruling in favor of all six of the plaintiffs in the case.
The passengers in the minivan and their awards included Evelyn Lewis, who received $862,000; Lashona Lewis, who received $216,208; Michael Lewis, who received $214,625; Bryanna McGinchey, who received $1,561,650; and Bridget McGinchey, who received $1,399,217, according to the story.
During the trial, Central City Toyota had offered to settle the case for $1.7 million, the story reported.
The tragedy in cases like this one is that this incident and these injuries could have happened to anyone.
One minute a family is on a trip heading for a fun event and the next instant someone is hurt and suffering from grievous, life-changing injuries that destroy a career and result in a lifetime of lingering pain and suffering.
These kinds of incidents and injuries happen every day when innocent victims are hurt in vehicle crashes through no fault of their own due to the actions or indifference of others.
That’s where having a legal team on your side that uncovers every fact to bolster your case and maximize your damage award is key.
We here at MyPhillyLawyer stand ready to assist you with your legal case if you or a loved one is ever seriously injured in a vehicle accident anywhere in the United States. We represent the families of victims who die in such tragedies as well, to ensure that their families receive every penny of damages that they are eligible to receive.
Call MyPhillyLawyer at 215-227-2727 or toll-free at 1-866-920-0352 anytime and our experienced, compassionate, aggressive team of attorneys and support staff will be there for you and your family every step of the way as we manage your case through the legal system.
When Winning Matters Most, Call MyPhillyLawyer.