Posted Dec 13, 2005, 8:43 AM @ The Firehouse.biz
Statement in Response to St. Louis Jury Verdict Absolving DaimlerChrysler Corporation of Liability in Minivan Case
Auburn Hills, Mich. – A St. Louis jury today absolved DaimlerChrysler Corporation of any liability in a tragic accident involving seven women and a 2002 Chrysler Town and Country minivan. After a six week trial the jury deliberated for only two hours before returning a verdict in favor of DaimlerChrysler.
The case stems from a high speed rollover accident caused by a distracted driver who left the road while traveling approximately 70 mph. While attempting the bring the minivan back onto the road and under control, the driver jerked the wheel first left, then right so severely that the tires were forced off the rims, causing the rims to dig into the road. As a result, the minivan rolled violently 4 1/4 times before coming to rest.
According to a 2005 NHTSA study, fatalities approach 100 percent in rollover accidents involving 7 one-quarter rolls. In this accident, the minivan completed 17 one-quarter rolls. Tragically, two of the seven passengers were killed during this violent accident.
The trial began on October 31, 2005 in St. Louis City Court and was heard by the Honorable Mark H. Neill.
The following statement can be attributed to Louann Van Der Wiele, Assistant General Counsel, DaimlerChrysler Corporation:
“DaimlerChrysler Corporation believes the jury reached the correct decision, but we sympathize with the families who have been affected by this terrible tragedy. Unfortunately, this accident ranks in the top 1% in terms of severity –the type of accident where fatalities and serious injuries are the rule, not the exception.
“We believe it is a testament to the safety of the minivan that five of the seven people involved in this devastating crash survived. The 2002 Chrysler Town and Country minivan has an excellent safety record and meets or exceeds all applicable federal safety standards.”