By on August 18, 2018

After deliberating eight hours, a Texas jury ordered Toyota to pay $242.1 million to compensate a Dallas family involved in a 2016 rear-end collision that seriously injured two children.

The children, aged 3 and 5, were rear-seat occupants in a 2002 Lexus ES300 driven by parents Benjamin and Kristi Reavis on Dallas’ North Central Expressway. While stopped in traffic, a Honda Pilot collided with the rear of the car at a high rate of speed, causing the front seatbacks to collapse.

The boy and girl, sitting in child seats, sustained serious head trauma as a result of the collision. Of the hefty total, the Aug. 17th verdict rendered by the Dallas County District Court jury includes $143.6 million in punitive damages for “gross negligence.”

Frank L. Branson, founder of the law office that bears his name, argued Toyota designed the seatbacks to favor the safety of front seat occupants over those in the rear — a claim Toyota disputes.

“This is a danger that Toyota has known about,” Branson said in a statement. “This company has had plenty of time to design around these safety shortcomings or at least provide the public with warnings. Our children deserve better.”

While a collapsing seatback would certainly help reduce the chance of whiplash in a rear-end collision, as Branson claims, it also places front-seat occupants in danger of sliding out from under their seatbelts, thus increasing the risk of a different type of injury. This author has personally attended an accident scene where a high-speed rear-end collision (in this case, with a tree) resulted in the driver’s death after the seatback failed.

“While we respect the jury’s decision, we remain confident that the injuries sustained were the result of factors specific to this very severe collision, not a defect in the design or manufacturing of the 2002 Lexus ES300,” a Toyota spokesman said in an emailed statement to Reuters.

The automaker claimed it will consider its options going forward.

[Image: Lexus]

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93 Comments on “Rear-end Collision Costs Toyota $242 Million...”


  • avatar
    94metro

    Sad story all around, but I struggle to see anything meeting the standard of gross negligence here. I think more likely a jury just felt bad about two kids being badly injured and wanted to do something about it.

    Bad outcomes, not negligence, drive lawsuits and awards. One of the first things you learn about the world of malpractice as well.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      Children get hurt. Look around for deep pockets for an absurd payout.

      I’m saddened that the legal system has gotten this bad.

      Note: I’m only going off the information in the article. It’s possible that there are things in play that I’m not aware of.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        Yeah, that’s what I think. They obviously found something incriminating about the seat design that they could hang on Toyota

        • 0 avatar
          NormSV650

          Day by day delibriation of the case. A long, good read.

          http://dev.texaslawbook.net/after-a-week-of-jury-selection-reavis-v-toyota-trial-begins/

          • 0 avatar
            BeSavvy

            NormSV650, thanks for sharing something of the real facts so people could display intelligent discussion instead of just spouting out their unknown theories of life.

      • 0 avatar
        BeSavvy

        Yes, children and adults get hurt in accidents, brn. Seatback failure has caused drivers to have spinal injuries, etc. I am so glad we have a legal system where jurors can ask for calculators to figure out what care will cost for a lifetime. After digesting data from all expert witnesses who projected figures, the verdict comes from the people (many of whom were professional “experts”).

    • 0 avatar
      Peter Gazis

      94metro

      This article doesn’t elude to any evidence presented at trial. It only restates the opinion if both sides.

      Drawing conclusions based on it would be premature

    • 0 avatar
      Garrett

      Front seat back collapse has been a problem that everyone knew about for decades.

      Companies like Mercedes Benz and Volvo produce cars where this isn’t an issue.

      Toyota needs to up their game.

    • 0 avatar
      BeSavvy

      Could you not “struggle” enough to imagine a jury that engaged evidence for weeks and then rendered a just verdict, 94metro?

  • avatar
    stuki

    If genuine negligence were the cause of major trauma to two children, the specific negligent actors would have faced criminal charges, been found guilty in criminal court, and have been thrown in jail. None did. So, aside from ever more tortured attempts at morphing common English into Newspeak, in order to facilitate crass theft by less-than-zero-productivity ambulance chasers, there were no negligent parties involved in this. Which in no way implies that coming up with excuses for having the government rob others on your behalf, can’t be lucrative enough to provide funding for said government’s reelection campaigns, of course.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo2

      Negligence is almost always a civil rather than criminal matter.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        For as long as “Negligence” is bastardized into nothing more than Newspeak for maximizing Ambulance Chaser welfare, yes…..

        In civilized jurisprudence, you are innocent. Until proven guilty, to rather rigorous standards. Which includes innocent of negligence.

        Civil matters have lower burdens of “proof,” as the are not about assigning blame, or claiming someone has done something “wrong.” But are rather about settling contractual disputes. Where none of the parties are, a priori, “innocent” nor “guilty.” But where the parties instead have a disagreement over how a contract should be interpreted.

        Weaseling and obfuscating matters, such that blame, liability, guilt etc. gets handled by the latter, is nothing more than lawyers run amuck. Pure welfare for, and aggrandizement of, rent seeking leeches. An insult to “rule of law.”

      • 0 avatar
        BeSavvy

        Good clarification to “stuki” from “jmo2”.

    • 0 avatar
      Nick_515

      you are looking at this from one angle, and what you say makes sense.

      from another, a very high punitive sum will envourage/discourage companies from certain courses of action. i believe that can be effective.

      i hope the parents donate 70% of what’s left after the lawyers get paid to a children’s hospital. pain cannot and should not be fixed with money, but money can do a lot of good in certain instances.

    • 0 avatar
      Peter Gazis

      stuki

      You can’t throw a corporation in jail.

      • 0 avatar
        pdq

        No, but you can throw a VW senior exec in jail. Corporations aren’t people – I don’t CARE what the Republicans and the Supreme Court say.

        When you start jailing their senior managers who made faulty decisions…..that’s a whole other story. All of a sudden, they grow a spine and become human.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        And neither is a corporation “guilty” of anything. Any more than “The US Postal Service” is guilty when someone goes postal.

        If a wrongdoing was done to this car, someone did it. Find him/them; throw him/them in jail. AFTER indicting him/them and finding them guilty. To a proper, criminal, standard. Until you have done that, noone is guilty of any wrongdoing. And noone who is not guilty of anything, is somehow “liable” to the tune of millions for some arbitrary something they are not guilty of. At least not in civilized societies. Dystopias propped up for the benefit of ambulance chasers and other less-than-zero-productivity rent seekers obviously play by different lack-of rules.

    • 0 avatar
      BeSavvy

      Can’t figure out who your “less-than-zero productivity ambulance chasers” are, Stuki. For all your wordy rhetoric, you don’t appear to have a command of the real evidence presented in the case or know these people at all.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Corporations weigh doing the “right thing” and the economic costs all the time.

      For instance, there have been various automakers which have had issues w/ faulty engineering – leading to numerous deaths/injuries, but decided that it made more economic “sense” to go thru w/ the inevitable lawsuits rather than spend the $$ for what a recall and fixing the problem would cost, as the former was more “cost effective.”

      The punitive damages are what is supposed to make corporation not choose the route of what is more cost effective.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        They don’t weight doing the “right thing.” They hand over money to ambulance chasers, lawyers on their side trying to second guess ambulance chasers, and insurance and other FIRE racket leeches. All paid for by lowered budgets for engineering, and higher prices for end customers.

        Criminal justice is the way civilized societies suss out and determine wrong-doing. Specifically because it includes proper protections against miscarriage of justice. Instead of being a free-for-all where any punter with a mail order law degree can try his luck at lose-I-pay-in-a-few-hours-of-work, win_i-make-millions arbitrariness.

        If people within Toyota did something wrong, those people should be in jail. After they have been properly found guilty of actually doing something wrong. That’s all the deterrent that is needed against corner cases of wilful negligence, since jail sentences can simply and easily be cranked up, until few to none dares taking the risk anymore.

        For all the rest, corporate reputation takes care of it.

        In no instance, is there ever any need for ambulance chasing leeches, and abject arbitrariness, aimed at no more than bypassing the protections against run-amuck court abuse, that is inherent in trying to shoehorn determination of “guilt,” into a court function designed to adjudicate and interpret voluntarily entered into contracts.

  • avatar
    Chuck Norton

    I will drive my kids around in a car pushing 20 years old-yep that’s pretty safe……

    • 0 avatar
      ravenuer

      Nothing wrong with a car “pushing 20 years old”. We’re not all as rich as you are and can afford a 2019 car. The problem here,as I see it, is the moron driving a Honda Pilot at 60mph or whatever directly into the rear of a car just because he had to read that text.
      There’s no doubt more to this story, such as what the Honda’s driver was charged with.

      • 0 avatar
        Chuck Norton

        ravenuer-

        Not that it would of made a difference in this accident-However, that car doesn’t have side curtain airbags. Again-it’s not as safe as anything approaching late model….Period.

        It’s a 200,000 mile car-with worn components. It’s not the safest car to drive children around in. OK-the owners don’t have alot of money (obviously-prior to the accident). It still doesn’t make nearly a 20 year old car safe.

        • 0 avatar
          brandloyalty

          Side curtain airbags and tight components probably are not factors in a severe rear-ender. But your concern is valid otherwise. It was for that reason I quit carrying other peoples’ kids in an older car I used to have. Since we also had one with modern safety features.

        • 0 avatar
          stuki

          I survived childhood in, gosh, an even older car! Living on the edge, I was!!

        • 0 avatar
          Sigivald

          “Not the safEST” and “not safe” are not the same thing.

          If decently maintained, it’s within rounding error of “as safe as the day it was built”; a worn suspension bushing has negligible relevance in crash safety.

          A 2002 Lexus is still very safe by any reasonable standard; it’s not like it’s from even 1992, let alone 1972.

          (We’ve gotten all the low-hanging fruit of crash safety; these days we’re chasing marginal improvements to edge cases, for the most part.)

          • 0 avatar
            bd2

            There’s a pretty significant difference in the structural integrity of a 16 yr old vehicle and one that is new today.

            It’s not just improvements in engineering, but materials.

            The new ES is a good bit safer than the 2002 ES, putting aside the issue w/ collapsing seatbacks.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Do you plan to buy us new ones?

    • 0 avatar
      jalop1991

      Thanks for the hyperbole, but it was a 14 year old car at the time.

      Are you saying they were negligent in not having the current model year Volvo?

      • 0 avatar
        TwoBelugas

        So all those people bragging about having 15 year old Toyotas with 200k miles on the clock with minimal upkeep are just cheapskates who are either endangering the lives of their families or just too pathetic to have families to worry about?

        Cool.

    • 0 avatar
      pdq

      I’ll bet if I hit that Honda Pilot with a ’61 Imperial, the Honda would be totaled and the Imperial would have barely a scuff.

      And besides – that Lexus is butt ugly. It was ugly when it was built and it’s ugly today. It’s a crime against nature.

      • 0 avatar
        pdog_phatpat

        YEAH! So those kids deserved it!

      • 0 avatar
        jalop1991

        “I’ll bet if I hit that Honda Pilot with a ’61 Imperial, the Honda would be totaled and the Imperial would have barely a scuff.”

        Sorry, it would be the other way around:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJ5PcWziXT0

        The Imperial passengers would all die instantly, while the Pilot passengers would wonder how big a stick they ran over.

        • 0 avatar
          NormSV650

          Curious to when NHTSA stars rear collision standards and all of those Japanese 3-row crossovers with the rear most passenger headrest in the rear hatch window.

        • 0 avatar
          Featherston

          ’61 Imperial =/= ’59 Bel Air. The ’57-’66 Imperial platform is quite stout, to the point that they purportedly were banned from demolition derbies.

          Lacking seatbelts, a ’61 would be considered incredibly unsafe compared to today’s vehicles. In a fender bender, however, an Imperial likely would get the better of the Pilot. Depending on the multitude of factors involved, I’d peg the outcomes for the entities involved in a Pilot-Imperial collision as:
          1 – Pilot passengers (best)
          2 – Imperial
          3 – Imperial passengers
          4 – Pilot (worst; it’s designed to sacrifice itself)

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            You’ve got it nailed Featherston. The Imperial passengers might be pulverized, but that car itself is a freaking tank.

          • 0 avatar
            Flipper35

            I remember Car and Driver trying to destroy an Imperial years ago. They had a rough time of it.

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        Possibly, but I’d far rather be in the Honda than the Imperial, because everyone in the Imperial is going to be seriously injured, and the occupants of the Honda have far better chances.

        Your car crumples so YOU don’t.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        More like the other way around.

        CR crash tested a 1959 Bel Air against a 2009 Chevy Malibu and the Bel Air did not fare well.

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          bd2 see Featherston’s explanation above:

          “’61 Imperial =/= ’59 Bel Air. The ’57-’66 Imperial platform is quite stout, to the point that they purportedly were banned from demolition derbies.”

          I think all of us acknowledge that as passengers we’d rather be in the modern car with crumple zones. We’re just saying the banned-from-demo-derbies Imperial would crumple the hell out of the Honda’s crumple zones.

    • 0 avatar
      Garrett

      I’d have no problem strapping my family into a 2003 XC90.

      It’s probably safer than most cars that are 2018 models.

  • avatar
    jacob_coulter

    We really need tort reform in this country.

    And maybe a way to make so intelligent people aren’t able to get out of jury duty and were stuck with the idiots making these decisions.

    A high speed highway accident caused injuries and we place punitive damages on Toyota for simply being the car that the driver crashed into?

    Only the USA has this stupid legal system that is a sick joke to the rest of the world.

    • 0 avatar
      smartascii

      I agree that we need tort reform, but not necessarily for the reasons I’m guessing you’re advocating. Let’s make a bunch of suppositions about the case at hand: Let’s say Toyota made defective seats. Let’s say they knew it. Let’s say they made a calculated decision that it was worth a few dead or injured backseat passengers to avoid the cost of a recall. This is wildly speculative and without a shred of supporting evidence, but assuming this were the case, they now cannot look at the outcome of this case and say, “You know what? You’re right. We screwed up. We’ll fix it,” at least not without exposing themselves to enormous additional legal liability. We’ve created a system where a corporation can’t acknowledge any error or negligence and correct it publicly without huge exposure. The current system is supposed to motivate everyone to do the right thing, even if it’s expensive, by making the wrong thing even more expensive. But in certain circumstances, we’ve achieved the opposite.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        Everyone knows the seats they make are defective, compared to some theoretical ideal of spending all resources in the known universe on assembling a single car seat. Leaving nothing for anything else.

        Everyone that is, except “Toyota.” Because Toyota isn’t sentient. Hence doesn’t know anything. Hence doesn’t “make decisions.” Hence can’t, with a straight face at least, in any way shape nor form be “guilty” of decisions it cannot make.

        Instead, just like when some dude goes postal, that some dude is guilty. Not “The US Postal Service.” Nor “Postal Employees” in general. Just some dude. As “some dude” ‘s are the only sentient actors out there. Hence the only ones able to make decisions. Hence the only ones possibly guilty of making “wrong” ones.

        If this car was assembled to a standard negligent enough for courts to have any business getting involved, somebody made decisions leading to that. It could be the guy who assembled it. It could be the designer, or it could be some bean counter with authority to make the calculation you referred to. But someone must have.

        If noone can be found guilty of doing any wrong, then while anyone may run around with their own personal opinion about “wrongdoing” having taken place, nothing rises to the level where courts have any business getting involved. That is what the much lauded standard of “Innocent until proven guilty,” which no civilized legal system can exist without, is all about ensuring: Noone can arbitrarily be forced to pay up, unless they are first PROVEN, beyond a reasonable doubt, to have done something WRONG. Something which noone working on this car so far has been.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Wouldn’t have such a knee-jerk reaction to the verdict/damages as the jury has had access to a lot more info.

      Much of America had a similar reaction to the infamous McDonald’s coffee spill case, but if one looks at the FACTS of the case, the jury’s decision was pretty reasonable.

      As for “tort reform” – states have been doing it all wrong. For instance, placing caps on medical malpractice awards which only prevent plaintiffs from being adequately compensated for their losses.

      In medical malpractice world, the frivolous lawsuits are the ones that get settled for around $30-50k, and the caps on payments does nothing about them.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        Yeah, a woman spilling coffee on herself getting hundreds of thousands for no other reason than because she happened to do so in a place with some tentative connection to someone with deep pockets, is reasonable…..

        I can agree cap limits is the wrong way of going about it. But only because the limit should be set at a great big fat zero. Wrongdoing is a matter for criminal courts to decide. And their penalties are properly constructed to remove as much arbitrariness as possible. Including how deep a pocket can be sorta-kinda claimed to have some relation to the incident.

        People guilty of wrongdoing get thrown in jail in civilized societies. Or flogged. Or something else that is pocket-size agnostic. If serving someone coffee that happens to lack ice cubes doesn’t quite reach the level of wrongdoing required to throw someone in jail, then neither does it reach a level rendering it appropriate for courts to get involved in the first place.

    • 0 avatar
      siuol11.2

      We have had tort reform for the last 30 years. What it has done is exactly what its critics predicted- made people less safe, had ZERO effect on insurance rates, and allowed corporations to get away with criminally negligent behavior because they are buddy-buddy with the government institutions that should be prosecuting them. Civil law torts are a well established part of English common law for a reason, and making them go away is not going to make the world a better place.

  • avatar
    redapple

    Jacob
    I agree.

    People that are picked for jury duty are of very common or low intelligence, usually female and predisposed to heavy dosages of sympathy. Toyota…? They have LOTS of money- the pitiful family deserves some cash regardless is the general sentiment I m sure.

    If you had a professional jury pool and/or a jury with say— engineering degree for a car crash case or air crash, then trial outcomes would make more sense.

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      The lawyers have something to say about who sits on a jury. If the jury is stacked with idiots predisposed to sympathy, the plaintiff’s lawyer had a good day at jury selection.

    • 0 avatar
      pdq

      So….Texans are stupid? I’ll agree with that.

    • 0 avatar
      BeSavvy

      Jacob and redapple, what interesting summaries you make up for your few correct case specific facts! Wow…is it really possible to find professionals on the jury….even engineers…and only 3 women? I would think the family only deserves money if the case merits it; and based on the verdict, I’d say the punitive amount means those professionals on the jury saw evidence. These obviously were not “ambulance-chasing” attorneys or plaintiffs.

      Jacob, I hope you don’t get hit from behind by a car going over 48MPH in a 70 MPH zone if 48 is your idea of a “high speed accident”.

  • avatar
    burgersandbeer

    I get increasingly annoyed every time I’m called for jury duty and I find myself surrounded by dipshits scheming to get out of it. Most of the time these are people that won’t be too inconvenienced by it – professional desk jobs that will give them a few days paid for jury duty. Whatever it is they do at work is probably not all that important anyway. Do your civic duty and stfu.

  • avatar
    rpn453

    I suspect this will eventually be overturned on appeal. Millions will be spent in the courts and only the lawyers will be paid.

    If not, how many seats will Toyota need to recall in order to avoid a $242 million fine every time somebody is hurt in the future?

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      @rpn: “only the lawyers will be paid.”

      That’s totally untrue. The owners will probably be given a coupon for a discount on an oil change. Once, I was awarded a 25 cent postage stamp in a settlement. I would have had to pay full postage to send in my electric bill that month if it hadn’t been for that multi-million dollar settlement.

      • 0 avatar
        KalapanaBlack7G

        I got 1 free weekday midsize or smaller rental coupon from Avis (excluded weekends and weekly), valid for one year, in a $72m wrongful hiring practices settlement last year.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Doubtful that it will get overturned.

      Depending on the state/jurisdiction, the trial judge may have discretion to lower the damage award, in particular, the punitive damages.

  • avatar
    ceipower

    Lawyers manipulate jury’s with all manner of trickery. No justice was served here. Just big wads of cash to get distributed between lawyers. What’s wrong with American society that stories like this are so common place? Hopefully this grossly unfair judgement Will get thrown out , but it should never have happened in the first place. No matter the story, judgements like this are fantasy land stuff. Lawyers must love it ,but mother justice must be puking.

    • 0 avatar
      BeSavvy

      @ceipower… Were you on the jury? Were you in the courtroom? Do you know …or care enough to know… the facts so that you could speak to the judgment? Since you say “no matter the story” I would wonder if mother justice is actually praying that you never come up for jury service! Should people who don’t want to be confused by the facts or don’t care if a huge corporate entity could improve their products for safety need to be spouting off on a website named The *TRUTH* About Cars?

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “Our children deserve better.”

    Always about the chillens isn’t it?

  • avatar
    orick

    “high-speed rear-end collision (in this case, with a tree)”

    Wait, how does that work? The guy was driving backwards very fast?

  • avatar
    cgjeep

    I’m confused. How did two kids sitting in car seats with 4 point harnesses get injured by the back of the front seats breaking? They were in the back seat.

  • avatar
    Pete Zaitcev

    I was reading the owner’s manual for Volvo XC40, and it mentions that the front seats are actually designed to do the same thing. A picture is included that shows area where you aren’t supposed to put something you don’t want to get crushed (like your dog carrier). Now I’m interested if it’s going to be enough to protect Volvo in a frivolous lawsuit of their own.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    Did the 2002 Lexus pass all relevant 2002 government safety tests? Have there been any serious calls (based on accident data) for Toyota to recall this particular model to repair defective seats since 2002, which Toyota has ignored? Can we be sure the seats in question were not weakened by wear and tear or owner modification during the 14 years between manufacture and the accident? If the answers are Yes, No, and No – then there should be no way that Toyota should be held liable for such an old car. Perhaps they should have sued Honda for selling a car to the idiot who rammed into the back of the Lexus.

    • 0 avatar
      bullnuke

      stingray65 – this is it absolutely.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      A big red “M” for marginal head restraints and seats.

      http://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings/vehicle/v/lexus/is-4-door-sedan/2002

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        http://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings/vehicle/v/buick/century-4-door-sedan

        http://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings/vehicle/v/buick/lesabre-4-door-sedan/2005

        http://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings/vehicle/v/buick/lacrosse-4-door-sedan/2005

        http://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings/vehicle/v/buick/lucerne-4-door-sedan/2006

        http://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings/vehicle/v/cadillac/seville-4-door-sedan

        http://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings/vehicle/v/cadillac/cts-4-door-sedan/2004

        http://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings/vehicle/v/cadillac/dts-4-door-sedan/2007

  • avatar
    probert

    All cars have the same bumper heights and are designed for crash protection based on this. Many SUVs override car bumpers and thus override the crumple zones. Is the Honda Pilot one of these? To my knowledge – possibly out of date – only Mercedes matched their SUV bumper height with car bumper height.

  • avatar
    cdrmike

    Winner: Ambulance chasing lawyer. Loser: Society.

    • 0 avatar
      BeSavvy

      @cdrmike and others in this comment section…what a confusing statement of judgment! If these plaintiffs reach what is most likely their presumable goal of helping car owners to have safer seats, then wouldn’t society win? If these people were willing to re-live a horrible tragedy and let their story play out instead of settling in advance and sealing it (like so many other seat-back collapse cases have done) with the reasoning that innocent people like you don’t maim yourself or someone you love, shouldn’t we be thanking them and their astute (not ambulance-chasing) attorneys?

      Senators got Congress to write letters to auto-makers urging them to deal with the seat collapse design. But the automakers have been lax and scooting by with 1963 standards when all it takes is about $1-2 to change it.

      Consumer Reports just reported that the NHTSA/NHTSB is no longer an aggressive watchdog. Read the article with stats. Maybe the losers are all the people who were not willing to face Goliath and say, “Enough! This maiming doesn’t have to happen.” I would say it takes more courage to be a “David” than a Goliath!!

  • avatar
    gtem

    My family got to experience a frivolous lawsuit within 2 years of immigrating to the US, when in 1994 my dad was driving my mom home from JFK in our tin can ’85 Civic sedan when we were rear ended hard by some lady driving a Firebird, and we were pushed into the Park Avenue in front of us. The Civic was obliterated, entire trunk was wrenched upwards. Thankfully no one was hurt (or so we thought). Months later, we were sued by the people in the Park Avenue, accusing my dad of being to close to their car in traffic. “Apparently” the husband got a neck injury that eventually lead to lack of performance in the bedroom and eventually lead to marital unhappiness. I’m not making this up. Their lawyers found our Civic in the junkyard, took photos of the Park Avenue with the bumper intentionally ripped all the way off after the fact. So some recent immigrants driving a 9 year old Honda were sued for close to a million dollars by these idiots. Needless to say it was dismissed, but man what a frightening experience for my parents.

  • avatar
    Carroll Prescott

    If only the parents had taken the time and money to buy helmets for their children or had head protection installed on the car seats. Their negligence should offset Toyotas and they should get ZERO money.

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    I was rear ended when slowing for a left turn. Speed differential was approximately 30mph (I was down to roughly 30mph and he was asleep at highway speeds) and the seat broke leaving me unable to press the brakes to stop or reach the steering wheel. I traveled an additional 110′ after the impact. A 30mph impact should not break a seat. JMHO. I can’t imagine a seat holding up to a large vehicle impacting at 60mph though and I doubt a car from 2019 would do any better in this particular case since there are none that I know of with front seat rear facing airbags.

    • 0 avatar
      Garrett

      Mercedes and Volvos solved that problem decades ago.

      You’re very lucky to be alive!

      • 0 avatar
        BeSavvy

        @Garrett, thanks for your remarks. Good to point out that not all car manufacturers have been lax in responding to this seat design. As I have said, senators have written letters to manufacturers asking them to make changes, and Consumer Reports has said recently that NHTSA is no longer an aggressive watchdog. Too many of these kinds of accidents are being settled and sealed. What will it take for all manufacturers to change? Kudos to those car manufacturers who have. Maybe they should start making this information as a key advertising bullet point.

  • avatar
    IBx1

    I reckon the driver of the Pilot was negligent for plowing full highway speed into stopped traffic, but then the Pilot driver doesn’t likely have $240M…

  • avatar
    PandaBear

    So the lawyer is going to sue whether Toyota prioritize the safety of the front occupants (in this case hurting his rear occupants), or prioritize the safety of the rear occupants (in that case hurting his front occupants).

    This is why I hate lawyers. His whole family should have died so nothing left to sue for.

    • 0 avatar
      PandaBear

      Should have been: The lawyer’s whole family should have died.

      • 0 avatar
        BeSavvy

        To: @IBx1 and @PandaBear

        Ahh…WHY oh WHY…aren’t facts important to you. The speed limit was 70…driver of Pilot was going 48.So why do you say “full highway speed”, @IBx1? No matter what speed he was going, yes, he still plowed into the car; but everyone else involved walked away. The airbags didn’t even deploy. What was it that caused the devastating injuries for 2 backseat passengers? Yes, something in the the car designed by the manufacturer who knew of the dangers a long time ago and which Congress has written letters to ask them to address.

        @PandaBear, actually those same designed seats in many accidents have maimed the driver/front seat passengers with spinal injuries, etc. Congratulations on being happy that it may keep them from getting whiplash. They really might prefer several weeks of that to being paralyzed or having TBI (traumatic brain injury) for the rest of their lives.

        Since you are already horrifically suggesting a “whole family” should have died, I guess you are not interested in safety and cannot imagine that others might be interested in saving you or the person you love most from a horrible tragedy.

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