victory is a no air bag case.
Barry, Pennsylvania, was the victim of a devastating car accident.
The collision caused catastrophic internal damage.
The doctor of Asbill fought a heroic battle to save his life, and neither Bill nor peeger could have imagined that they would one day create a history of litigation.
In September 21, 1994, Davis became the first victim of two decades of car companies ignoring the failure of automakers to equip their cars with air bags.
The jury decided to give substantial compensation and damages to Davis and prepared to decide punitive damages to GM (GM)
When the two sides settle(1)Since the mid-
1980, the automotive industry, has successfully obtained the rejection of hundreds of airbag-free cases based on federal preemptive rights.
However, since recently in Myrick v. Freuhauf Corp. (2)andLoulos v.
Dick Smith of Ford,(3)
It seems that the trend has turned.
Today, people injured in collisions involving cars without airbags may find it easier for courts to accept their claims.
At present, there are nearly 100 million vehicles on the road without any airbags.
According to statistics, more than 12,000 people die each year in frontal collisions.
Could have prevented death by air bags.
Similarly, thousands of people are injured every year. (4)
This article is trial lawyer Davis v.
This is a compelling description of corporate neglect and a difference from the car public.
Davis\'s 1988 Oldsmobile is one of the millions of cars made by GM with doors
Passive seat belt system installed.
This seat is included to meet the federal government\'s mandate that a certain percentage of vehicles in each manufacturer\'s vehicle include a mandatory constraint on the 1988 model. (5)
Some manufacturers have chosen drivers.
Side airbags and other electric safety belts, the world\'s largest car manufacturer, have chosen a belt system with the lowest level of protection, in fact, it violates its own safety standards.
More importantly, General Motors
Pioneer in airbag design --
Retains the most effective security system designed for the front line
Impact protection, refusal to provide standard drivers-
Side airbags with manual and shoulder straps.
Head Injury in Davis accident
HisOldsmobile Delta 88 and evening-
The Ford model LTD is equipped with a manual lapand shoulder strap.
Ford\'s driver runs through Davis\'s driveway and the car crashes at 70 to 80 miles an hour.
Ford\'s driver was treated for a seat belt injury and was discharged from a local hospital after a short visit.
Bill Davis is not so lucky.
When the accident happened, Davis slid forward in his seat.
The Shoulderbelt tractor is locked, but the lap belt tractor rotates several times before locking.
Because it was tied to the door, it was not tied to Davis\'s pelvis.
Instead, it lies above and ahead of his pelvis.
Davis\'s catastrophic internal injury occurred at the moment of the accident because of the design position of the seat belt-
Fixed on the door, need 44 Inch more straps than ordinary belts
A belt hook failure (
Called \"jump lock \")
Causing him to sneak under the belt.
Davis slid forward, with the belt \"riding\" to his abdomen, the harness hook locked and applied intense pressure to the lower and upper areas of Davis\'s abdomen.
Then his abdomen hit the steering wheel, causing the steering wheel to break.
Photos of Oldsmobile show no intrusion inside the vehicle.
The plaintiff and GM agreed that the seat belt part of the seat belt caused catastrophic damage.
Like every other airbag/seat beltcrashworths case, the preparation of this case begins with the pre-
Small conflicts (
Continued during the trial and subject to sanctions for the defendant\'s failure to produce the relevant documents)
Regarding the fight against the federal preemptive right, as well as the photos and explanatory evidence prepared in detail to support Davis\'s claim. (6)Two-
Pronged AttackWe attacked the security of Oldsmobile Delta 88 on two fronts :(1)
Failure to install the airbag system and (2)
Defective seat belt design.
Both of our propositions have the upper hand.
Facts and expert testimony document the pattern of GM\'s refusal to design and manufacture the car with safety belts and necessary airbags.
General Motors first announced the sale of air-bag-
Equipped with an inNovember 1973.
These systems are well designed: they contain mechanisms to avoid accidental deployment, dual sensors that change inflation rates depending on the speed of the collision, and upper and lower cable air cushions.
GM \"quietly\" sold about 10,000 air units-bag-
In the model year from 1974 to 1976, the company basically gradually canceled the design and production plan of the airbag shortly after the federal government delayed the date of 1973 to 1974 of the federal authorized airbag.
So by 1981, General Motors publicly announced its decision to abandon any future aviation plan. bag-equipped cars. (7)
Former assistant to President Nixon, John Eichmann, testified that at a confidential Oval Office meeting, General Motors board chairman James Roche told Nixon that the company was unable to produce airbagsequipped cars.
We counter Roche\'s claim by submitting a public statement from GM on 1981 acknowledging that its air Cushion Restraint System project from 1974 to 1976 was for 300,000 air-bag-equipped cars. (8)
GM further acknowledges the real reason for abandoning the airbag: \"Our judgment and experience lead us to a conclusion --
Most of our customers don\'t buy inflatable filters. . . . \"(9)
In other words, GM is not convinced that it will make a profit by installing these life-saving devices.
Our evidence detailed engineering analysis by General Motors, the federal government, and other security advocates, which began in early 1970 and lasted until the 1980 th generation, believed that in terms of reducing the slaughter on the highway, no other single safety system is superior to the airbag.
We showed the jury several films of the GM crash and sledge test, showing the effect of using the airbag alone in the frontal crash on head, neck, chest and abdominal impact and injury.
Statistics generated by Minicars (
Cars for the government)
Revealed that the airbag will represent two-
Thirty people were seriously injured or killed.
Automatic Collision of 1970 s(10)
In addition, the airbag provides a safety buffer because the airbag assigns the load force that the driver will experience if he wears a defective seat belt or well
Seat belt in a high designspeed crash. (11)
When we emphasize the safety advantages of airbags, we like the evidence that
Installation of a safety belt system violates the general safety belt design principles, general design principles and Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards 210
Stop at the door-
Not designed to lie on the driver\'s spelvis.
A report from the government of Canada confirms the conclusion of our experts that the system is unsafe. (12)
In the face of this double attack, GM defended the case on several fronts.
General Motors engineers and biomechanics experts believe that Davis\'s injury is the result of the severity of the accident, and the airbag only slightly improves the effectiveness of general constraints, GM contributes more to vehicle safety than any other manufacturer in the world.
However, the court banned GM from using its typical statistical defense, in which it argued that people were injured in serious clashes regardless of the model or seat belt system used.
The court ruled that this evidence could not have helped the jury determine the safety of Bill Davis\'s Delta 88.
Instead, GM is forced to try this only, not thousands of other injuries
Accidents happen every year.
As part of the explanation for installing the door --
General Motors believes that this system greatly increases the use of seat belts, thus bringing net income to drivers.
In one case, there was little appeal to this defense, in which even GM agreed that the driver was injured by the relevant belt.
In addition, the company made this argument in its own internal documents, revealing that 50% of customers did not use this seat belt as a passive system
That is, they buckle the system and unfasten it as if it were a standard manual seat belt.
Defending its failure to install the driver
After more than 20 years of development in the safety field, the side airbag, ged, is not sure if the benefits of an airbag outweigh it.
The harm of \"punching\" in the company\'s bag (
Catastrophic damage, if the bag expands when the occupant is near the bag --
Small people are particularly at risk)and \"bagfold\" (
The damage caused by wrapping around the passenger\'s neck during inflation).
We ask the airbag experts of GM to show the jury that in order to avoid these risks, any warning driver is sitting as far away from the wheel as possible.
Because there is no such warning, we can question the sincerity of this defense.
General Motors also believes that the airbag design is very complex, and in improving the design, the company must weigh the pros and cons of the equipment according to the bag\'s on-site report
So GM believes that its government
Forced installation of airbags may not significantly improve safety.
In fact, a company witness even said-
No supporting documents.
One of the 10 airbags can cause serious or fatal damage.
Of course, this testimony completely ignores the current statistics, indicating that, to date, only a few of the thousands of ofair bag deployment accidents have reported serious air pollution incidentsbag-
All of these are caused by poor airbag design or poor safety belt performance. (13)
GM\'s defense of our airbag claim is quite transparent.
GMquietly pioneered the development of airbags, and then spent twenty years resisting the government\'s requirement to install airbags. during 1988 and 1989, GMquietly placed airbags in only a few models(14)
Ofair, a non-offensive sale. bag-
Equipped Cars in 1988 and 1989 were a repeat of its poor marketing attempts in 1970.
As a result, GM has again shown that its management is less interested in improving safety than in ensuring the profitability of its products.
More than 100 million cars and trucks travel on roads without airbags.
GM still produces some new cars and trucks without these devices.
The company continues to sell-
The installed seat belt does not have any warning about the harmful design of the system.
While the victory of a lawsuit did not change GM\'s attitude towards safety, it was a start.
A jury has the opportunity to witness the deception and neglect of the world\'s largest company.
Without strong security legislation, only a jury can remind GM and other companies that society will not support their compromise on security.
Whenever the risk of serious injury can be eliminated without unreasonable burden, the car manufacturer should take action with the customer.
The Bill Davis case should have won long ago. (15)
This should be a warning to prompt the manufacturer to manufacture the vehicle with air bag protection and to provide a modified driver-
Side and passenger-
Side airbag kits for all vehicles on the road without them. Notes(1)Davis v.
General Motors, No. 4569C (Pa.
Luzerne County Ct. C. P. 1991). Co-
Counsel for the author is Joseph Quinn and MelissaScartelli. (2)13 F. 3d 1516 (11th Cir. )
Leger denies it, 24 th floor. 3d 256(11th Cir. ), cert.
Batch sub-nominal value. Freight-liner Corp. v. Myrick, 115S. Ct. 306 (1994). See James L.
Gilbert and Stewart
Ollanik, evaded the implied preemptive right, trial, November. 1994, at 20. (3)882 S. W. 2d 149(Mo. Ct. App. 1994); Hernandez-Gomez v.
Leonardo, 884 p. 2d 183 (Ariz. 1994)(en banc)
, Apply for a certificate. filed, 63 U. S. L. W. 3598 (U. S. Jan. 27, 1995)(No. 94-1305). (4)MINICARS, INC.
Benefit Analysis of vehicle passive restraint system implementation 1-11(1977)[
Analysis of future benefits. (5)
Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard, 49 CF. R [sections]571. 208 (1993). (6)
This case is generally heard in accordance with the principle of evidence of inHabecker v. Clark Equip. Co. , 36 F. 3d 278 (3d Cir. 1994), cert. denied,63 U. S. L. W. 3658 (Mar. 6, 1995)(No. 94-1060). (7)
Barry Rohan of GM is abandoning the development of airbags.
Free News, April. 29, 1981. at 1A. (8)Id. (9)
Press Release, April. 28, 1981. (10)
Benefit analysis, previous Note 4. (11)
GM has built 1st vehicles with airbags. A. TIMES, Nov. 30, 1973, at 8. (12)C. D. Campbell & E. R.
Welbourne, Transport Canada\'s policy on occupant restraint, 1981 International Symposium on occupant restraint 135,142 (DOT HS-032 380). (13)John W. Melvin et al.
, Evaluate the airbag deployment load with a small female Hybrid III dummy at the 37 STAPP Car Crash Conference. PROC. (1993)(
Soci \'Y from Automotive engineering, Report No. 933119). (14)Davis, No.
4. 0C, the testimony of the trial of Daniel Faust, a GM engineer. (15)
The Davis left the court in a car with a manurap/shoulder strap and airbag --
Not made by GM.