WASHINGTON – Stein Mitchell Muse & Cipollone LLP has announced that a jury in Pulaski County, VA returned a verdict requiring Hyundai to pay $14 million to an injured plaintiff after determining that the side air bag system in the 2008 Hyundai Tiburon is defective.
The case was brought by the parents of Zachary “Gage” Duncan. At age 16, Duncan sustained traumatic brain injury when the side air bag in his Tiburon failed to deploy during an accident.
The jury was called upon to decide whether the air bag sensor system was defectively designed. They heard days of technical testimony from engineers and analyzed dozens of crash-test videos.
Plaintiffs proved that the air bag failed to deploy because Hyundai placed the side air bag sensor in the wrong location in the 2003 to 2008 models of the Tiburon. Ari Casper, the plaintiffs’ lead attorney and a partner at Stein Mitchell Muse & Cipollone, argued that a properly designed sensor system would have deployed an air bag in Duncan’s collision. He told the jury, “you don’t design cars to pass tests; you design them to protect occupants.”
After deliberating for approximately 8 hours, the jury returned the $14 million verdict, which will finance the specialized lifetime care that Duncan will require.
Casper said, “This is an important victory for our client and for public safety.”
SOURCE: Stein Mitchell Muse & Cipollone LLP