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Gary Shipman
Gary Shipman
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SUV’s overly rigid design uncovered in auto accident

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A woman driving her 1995 Pathfinder SUV was struck in the front left corner by another car traveling between 45 and 50 m.p.h. The impact pushed the left front tire through the firewall and crushed the vehicle’s foot well, floor pan, and toe board area.

The driver’s medical expenses totaled about $197,000 after suffering multiple fractures to both legs, requiring implantations of nails, screws, plates and rods. Perdue and her husband sued the manufacturer of the SUV for the overly rigid design permitted the force of impact to reach the drivers compartment. The plaintiffs alleged that the design should have permitted the front structure to yield upon impact. They also alleged that the manufacturer should have preformed testing to evaluate the potential risk from frontal- offset collisions.

The jury awarded about $2.2million, including $150,000 to Perdue’s husband for loss of consortium.