On April 23 of this year, the Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court made the decision to uphold a $5.5 million lawsuit award for a family injured when their SUV’s tire blew out, causing the vehicle to roll over. The jury, located in Essex County, concluded that Flemington Buick Chevrolet Pontiac GMC in Raritan Township, New Jersey acted negligently when it serviced Roy Allen’s 2004 Chevrolet TrailBlazer in 2009, three days before it overturned on an interstate highway.
In their case, the Allen family alleged the following:
- That when the car was brought in for servicing a few days prior to the crash, the auto dealer neglected to inspect the rear tires, even after Mr. Allen informed service department employees that something seemed wrong with the rear axle.
- That according to the General Motors service manual, the rear tires should be checked immediately if such a complaint is presented.
- That in addition, their right rear tire was known to have a bald spot dating back to January 2009, when workers in the service department rotated the tire from the front to the rear axle.
No fatalities resulted from the crash, but the SUV’s passengers each sustained a number of serious injuries as a result of the rollover. A 13-day trial followed the accident, ending when the jury awarded $7.5 million to the family — although the amount was later reduced to $5.5 million. The auto dealer appealed the verdict, but the appellate judges concluded that the case did not contain any errors that would have constituted a mistrial.
This verdict represents a significant victory for all car accident victims in Bergen County and throughout New Jersey. If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a crash that resulted from negligence or recklessness by another party, you may be entitled to receive compensatory damages and should consult an attorney as soon as possible to maximize your legal options.