BMW Faces Lawsuit in Atlanta Federal Court Over Auto Accident
Modern automobiles include a number of safety features intended to protect the vehicle’s occupants in the event of an auto accident. Unfortunately, some of these features do not work as advertised. And in many cases, it is actually a defect in the design or manufacture of the car that leads to serious injury and not the impact of the accident itself. That is why under Georgia law, the manufacturers of automobiles and their respective components can be sued for defects in the design, manufacture, and labeling of their products.
Did BMW Design a Defective Safety System for the 328i?
An ongoing personal injury lawsuit from here in Atlanta, Constable v. Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, illustrates how these kinds of cases work. The plaintiff in this case was a passenger in a 2013 BMW 328i. According to the plaintiff’s personal injury lawsuit, the vehicle was traveling in Athens-Clarke County when the driver “lost control” while trying to navigate a curve, causing the BMW to leave the roadway and roll over. During the roll-over, the front passenger-side door “improperly flew open and the seatbelt Plaintiff was wearing failed,” so she was thrown from the car completely and sustained “serious and permanent injuries.”
The plaintiff subsequently sued BMW. The lawsuit specifically alleged that BMW designed and manufactured the 328i with an “unreasonably dangerous” seatbelt and crash unlock system that failed during her accident. Later, the parties agreed that the seatbelt was not defective and that the rollover itself caused the door to open. But the plaintiff maintained that a defect in the design of the crash unlock system caused the door to open before the rollover, which led to her ejection.
In support of this claim, the plaintiff presented testimony from an expert witness. Such experts are commonly used in personal injury claims involving product liability, as they require knowledge of complex technical subjects beyond the grasp of the average juror. BMW moved to exclude the expert’s testimony as unreliable and irrelevant, but the federal judge overseeing the case denied that motion.
Likewise, the judge also denied BMW’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit on the grounds that the design of its crash unlock system “was suitable for its intended purpose and therefore reasonable as a matter of law.” The judge said it would be up to a jury to decide whether or not BMW selected an unreasonably dangerous design for its safety system. This requires weighing the system BMW chose against other possible alternatives that were available at the time.
Contact Hawkins Spizman Trial Lawyers Today
Personal injury claims are often more complex than auto accident victims initially realize. It can take a great deal of time and preliminary investigation to determine all of the responsible parties. That is why it is important to work with an experienced Atlanta personal injury lawyer who can represent you through every stage of the process.
So if you have recently been injured in an auto accident, contact Hawkins Spizman Trial Lawyers today. We serve clients throughout Georgia including Atlanta, Dunwoody, Alpharetta, Cobb County, Fulton County, Gwinnett County, Johns Creek and Sandy Springs.