$150M Award in Chrysler Lawsuit

   / $150M Award in Chrysler Lawsuit #1  

KennyG

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Here is a kind of shocking story.

Georgia Jury Hits Chrysler With $150 Million Penalty in Boy

As is usually the case, this will probably be reduced on appeal, but there are several elements of this that have me shaking my head.

The award included $120M for the value of the boys life. I can't imagine anything worse than losing a child but how can you come up with a value of a life that exceeds $1M per year? Does $150M make this any better for the parents than $5M?

Chrysler was found 99% responsible because they located a gas tank behind the axle. The truck driver that rear ended the Jeep at high speed was found 1% responsible. Is that a disturbing statement on personal responsibility?

The Jeep was 13 years old. Could Chrysler be sued over an accident with 1975 Plymouth Fury?
 
   / $150M Award in Chrysler Lawsuit #2  
Why should you and I have to pay for the negligence of the driver of the pickup truck that rear ended the Jeep?
But pay we will. Why should an attorney make a lifetime retirement on one case? But he has. Will millions of dollars give closure to the family ? No it will not. This judgment is wrong.
 
   / $150M Award in Chrysler Lawsuit #3  
. Will millions of dollars give closure to the family ? No it will not. This judgment is wrong.

I agree with your 1 statement. I disagree with the 2 nd part

While 150 m would not be enough for my child's life.. I would want someone to pay the max penalty ...

If someone shot your child to death.. Would you not want the death penalty for the killer, even though, it wouldn't bring your child back ?

Not so sure Chrysler should have to pay, but they most likely have deeper pockets than the truck driver
 
   / $150M Award in Chrysler Lawsuit #4  
I am not a lawyer and have no need to defend them but I think they often times take the brunt of the criticism in these cases. When in fact, it was the jury that made this decision. You know, a jury of our peers. Yes, a jury of our neighbors, relatives and friends, just like us.

I too wonder what a jury thinks sometimes but I just don't blame the lawyers. All they can do is make an argument, its the jury that sets damage awards.
 
   / $150M Award in Chrysler Lawsuit #5  
When corporations drag their feet because they have analyzed the situation and it's cheaper to pay the lawsuits than to fix their mistake, yes, it takes bigger settlements to get their attention.

But the real answer is for companies to do the right thing, rather than the cheapest thing. Some companies do the right thing (I worked for one of them), other companies only look at the bottom line on the profit ledger.
 
   / $150M Award in Chrysler Lawsuit #7  
It's difficult sometime to make sense of these awards without being privy to the information available to the Judge and Jury. For instance: Chrysler was projected to manufacture 4.5 million units in 2014; the award of 150M figures out to be something like $33.33 per unit. The tag on my '59 Impala runs more than that.
 
   / $150M Award in Chrysler Lawsuit #8  
Here is a kind of shocking story.

Georgia Jury Hits Chrysler With $150 Million Penalty in Boy

As is usually the case, this will probably be reduced on appeal, but there are several elements of this that have me shaking my head.

The award included $120M for the value of the boys life. I can't imagine anything worse than losing a child but how can you come up with a value of a life that exceeds $1M per year? Does $150M make this any better for the parents than $5M?

Chrysler was found 99% responsible because they located a gas tank behind the axle. The truck driver that rear ended the Jeep at high speed was found 1% responsible. Is that a disturbing statement on personal responsibility?

The Jeep was 13 years old. Could Chrysler be sued over an accident with 1975 Plymouth Fury?

Another example of the utter stupidity of the average American, the get-rich-quick mentality, and the us-against-them mentality the lefties successfully peddle when it comes to "big business". The truck driver was obviously completely responsible, and the jeep met applicable safety standards at the time. I despair when I see things like this.
 
   / $150M Award in Chrysler Lawsuit #9  
When a corporation is irresponsible then juries are going to award damages, sometimes crazy amounts, whether we like it or not. We don't know all of the facts in this suit against Chrysler but history has shown us that corporations make bad decisions that kill and injure people. Case in point, the decision by Ford Motor Company to manufacture the Ford Pinto knowing full well, they had a defective fuel system would allow the car to explode in a rear end collision.

Ford had a design that would cost an additional $11.00 per car that their own studies showed it would result in 180 fewer deaths. The problem with the Pinto was they designed the fuel tank to be placed directly behind the rear differential rather than above it. Their design gave them more trunk room. Of course in a real end collision the fuel tank was pushed forward into the rear axle/differential. Also, the bolts protruded further out from the differential cover which would "puncture" the fuel tank as it was pushed forward in a rear end collision.

Ford's own documents showed that protective cover of the rear differential (the $11.00 fix) would have reduced the explosions and the deaths.

Ford paid for their mistake but of course, the people who died, or severely burned, have long since been forgotten. The purchaser of the Ford Pinto had a right to expect the company would not being putting their profits ($11.00 per car) over their lives.

Let me declare today to all of the TBN members who jump to defend irresponsible corporations that had I been on the jury Ford would have paid dearly for their decision.
 
   / $150M Award in Chrysler Lawsuit #10  
When a corporation is irresponsible then juries are going to award damages, sometimes crazy amounts, whether we like it or not. We don't know all of the facts in this suit against Chrysler but history has shown us that corporations make bad decisions that kill and injure people. Case in point, the decision by Ford Motor Company to manufacture the Ford Pinto knowing full well, they had a defective fuel system would allow the car to explode in a rear end collision.
Per Chrysler:
http://www.wsj.com/articles/georgia-jury-hits-chrysler-with-150-million-penalty-in-death-1428018912 said:
The auto maker argued the blame for the Georgia boy’s death was with the pickup-truck driver whose vehicle struck the Jeep at such a high speed the vehicle couldn’t be expected to withstand it. Lawyers for the company told jurors the vehicle met federal safety standards for fuel tanks at the time they were made.
http://blog.cvn.com/trial-begins-in-first-lawsuit-over-jeep-fuel-tank-fires said:
"The energy level of the impact was substantially higher than the applicable federal requirement for rear impacts, which the Jeep Grand Cherokee met," Palese said in a statement. "A thorough analysis of rear impact crash data indicates that the 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee is no more likely to experience fire as a result of a rear impact than peer vehicles."
I see two issues here:
1. You cannot make a vehicle that is 100% safe in every possible accident, in this case, it sounds like the other driver hit the (stopped) Jeep going over 50MPH. The rear impact fuel leak standards for pre-2006 vehicles was 30MPH, for post 2006 vehicles, it is 50MPH.(source)
2. If it met the standards when it was built and if it still meets them (ie: its a case of newer cars being safer vs a part that fails over time), IMO the liability should not fall on an automaker who made a vehicle which met the applicable standards at the time of manufacture.

Aaron Z
 
 
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