Texas Lawsuit Alleges Minivan Design Defects Caused Two Deaths

Texas residents may have heard about a recent tragic car accident that killed a Houston couple and left two of their children paralyzed. Surviving family members filed a lawsuit against Chrysler, the manufacturer of the minivan the couple was driving.

The lawsuit alleges that numerous design flaws in the couple’s 2003 Chrysler Town & Country minivan were a significant contributor to the tragic deaths. One alleged design error is an insufficient “safety cage,” a tough, steel component meant to protect occupants in the event of an accident.

Another alleged design flaw includes defective crush zones at the front of the minivan, which are supposed to absorb the impact of a crash. The family also claims that flawed seat belts and seat backs caused the serious internal and spinal cord injuries that .

The driver of the other vehicle involved in the accident is also named in the lawsuit because of his distracted driving. The lawsuit claims he was reaching into the backseat, causing him to swerve into oncoming traffic.

Although accidents like this are common, the couple’s family claim that without these design flaws, the couple would still be alive and the children’s injuries would have been prevented.

The case has attracted national media attention and Chrysler has extended sympathy to family and friends of the couple killed. The couple’s family hopes that if the lawsuit is successful, it will encourage companies like Chrysler to design safer vehicles in the future.

Source: The Houston Chronicle, “Relatives of Berry family sue Chrysler, driver in wreck that killed parents,” Susan Carroll, May 15, 2012