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Lozano v. DaimlerChrysler Corporation

Confidential Settlement

A 19 year old woman sustained incomplete paraplegia from a lap belt she was wearing while riding in the rear center seat of a 1998 Plymouth Breeze.

The vehicle was involved in a low speed frontal crash, from which all four of the other occupants walked away without serious injury. Plaintiff developed evidence that Chrysler had known for over twenty five years that the design of the rear center restraint system was defective and that it could cause catastrophic spinal and internal injuries, even if properly worn. This is because the passenger could submarine beneath the belt, even when properly worn, as it was in this instance. A number of other vehicles had been designed and equipped with ramped seats designed to reduce the potential for submarining, and also had a three point belt designed into the rear center seating position. It was not until the European Union, in 1999, mandated three point belts for cars sold in Europe that Chrysler found it economical to go ahead and make the modification to all its vehicles. However, there was nothing that prevented Chrysler from having corrected design long before the vehicle in question was manufactured.

While feasible, Chrysler did not act until it was mandated to do so. Our client sustained a classic "lap belt injury." She suffered a "chance fracture," a flexion, distraction fracture at T12-L1, which has left her permanently, partially paralyzed. While miraculously she can walk, she has an impaired gait, and she experiences excruciating chronic pain. Her mobility is expected to decline prematurely and the chronic pain probably will be lifelong. The settlement was designed to compensate our client for her substantial lost earning potential, future medical expenses, and extreme pain and limitation that she probably will experience over the rest of her life.

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Our web site describes some of the cases that the attorneys of Perry & Haas have worked on in the past.

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You should be aware that the results obtained in each of the cases we have worked on was dependent on the particular facts of each case. The results of other cases will differ based on the different facts involved.