$12M Verdict to Family of Teen Killed in Toyota 4Runner Crash

The family of a 17-year-old teenager who died in 2015 in a roll-over crash when an axle broke on the Toyota 4Runner she was driving has been awarded a $12 million verdict by a South Carolina jury.

The victim, 17-year-old Lacee Dial was driving her 1999 Toyota 4Runner to an interview on the morning of Sept. 15, 2012 in South Carolina when the left rear axle broke, allowing the wheel to separate from the vehicle and causing the 4Runner to roll over and smash into a utility pole, according to a June 2 story in the Anderson County, S.C.-based Independent Mail. Dial was trapped in the vehicle for two hours and later died. The crash occurred at 11 a.m. on a flat, straight road on a clear day.

Dial’s father, Donald L. Dial, sued Toyota Motor Corporation, Toyota Motor Sales USA and A&P Automotive Inc., the used car dealership where the vehicle was purchased, following the crash, alleging wrongful death, defective and unreasonable design of the axle and other claims.

In addition, the “lawsuit also alleged that Toyota knew or should have known of other fractures of Toyota 4Runners,” the story continued. “Records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, according to the lawsuit, show that between June of 1987 and July of 2011, there were 19 incidents of rear-axle fractures in Toyota 4Runners, including 16 accidents, seven rollovers, 19 injuries and one fatality.” About 11 of those reports involved vehicles of the same generation of 4Runner that was driven by Dial. Included among them were nine accidents, three rollovers and eight injuries, the report continued.

Texting trucker leads to car crash

Photo credit: iStockphoto.com/alexskopje

The family’s lawsuit, which sought actual and punitive damages in the case, also “alleged that Toyota failed to properly monitor, document, record, report and warn the public and the Dials of the incidents.”

Toyota denied that the teen’s death was caused by a defect in the vehicle.

In its verdict, the jury in the case awarded the family $6 million for the conscious pain and suffering of Lacee Dial and $6 million for wrongful death, the story reported. Lacee Dial was from Piedmont, S.C., and was a senior at Wren High School.

Legal cases like this one occur around the nation every day and are examples of similar kinds of cases that MyPhillyLawyer attorneys regularly work on tirelessly for our own clients. Often, we are not able to discuss the cases we are actively working on due to confidentiality requirements, so we discuss other relevant cases in the news such as this one to illustrate the legal situations people find themselves in every day.

We here at MyPhillyLawyer stand ready to assist you with your legal case if you or a loved one is ever seriously injured in any kind of vehicle incident anywhere in the United States. We pledge to make sure that you and your family get the compassionate, dogged and experienced legal representation that you deserve and expect from a professional legal team which works hard to uncover every fact to bolster your case and maximize your damage award.

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 215-789-9346 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.

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