Sometimes the truth is brought to light in the most unlikely of ways. When most people think of civil lawsuits, they envision an injured party fighting for compensation for the damages they have endured. But civil lawsuits have another side to them that deals less with monetary compensation and more with uncovering the truth and fixing the wrongs perpetrated by individuals and companies alike.
The family of a four-year-old boy who was killed in a fire after the jeep he was riding in was rear-ended is seeking answers from not only the driver who struck the jeep, but from the CEO of the company that made the jeep that the boy was riding in that day. The Georgia judge presiding over the case has ordered the CEO to give a videotaped deposition. The accident that claimed the young boy's life happened in March of 2012, as the toddler's aunt was taking him to tennis lessons. It is alleged that the rear-end collision caused a fire as a result of a design flaw in the Jeep Grand Cherokee that had been known to Chrysler since the 1960's.
The complaint states that Chrysler's own internal documents explain the need to move the gas tank from behind the rear axle due to concerns that it would catch on fire during an rear-end accident. The suit alleges that even though it was "technologically feasible" and "economically practical" to change the location of the gas tank, Chrysler refused to make the change. Since the accident that claimed the young boy's life occurred, Chrysler has issued a recall of 1.56 million vehicles, but is not correcting the gas tank issue with the vehicles and has chosen to only install a measure that offers some improvement.
Car accidents have become a fact of life for many in the United States. With technology creating a new generation of distractions for drivers, the trend is likely only to increase.