GM, Buick dealer face products liability claim in death of Pa. man

By Jon Campisi | May 3, 2013

The estate of a man who died as a result of injuries he sustained in a side-impact vehicle

collision in Chester County during the summer of 2011 has filed a products liability claim against the vehicle’s manufacturer and seller.

Plaintiff Anthony J. Matz, administrator of the estate of the late Robert B. Goodyear, filed suit on behalf of Goodyear’s wife, Dana Goodyear, and the couple’s daughter, Jennifer Goodyear Lloyd, over allegations that the vehicle Robert Goodyear was driving at the time of the low-speed accident was manufactured improperly.

The defendants in the lawsuit, General Motors LLC and Granite Run Buick GMC Inc., are accused of negligence for designing, manufacturing and supplying a vehicle that was not built with a “reasonable degree of restraint design to mitigate the known risks associated with side impact collisions.”

According to the lawsuit, Robert Goodyear was operating his Buick on Hibernia Road in West Brandywine Township on July 10, 2011, at close to four in the afternoon, when the Buick was struck along the driver’s side by a vehicle traveling along intersecting Manor Road.

Goodyear was wearing his seatbelt at the time of the crash, the suit states, and the driver’s side air bag did deploy at the time of impact.

Nevertheless, the complaint alleges, Goodyear ended up sustaining catastrophic head and brain injuries, including a skull fracture, which left him in the hospital for just under a month.

After a one-day hospitalization at Paoli Hospital in Chester County, Goodyear was transferred to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, where he succumbed to his injuries on Aug. 4, 2011, according to the complaint.

The plaintiff alleges that the vehicle was not crashworthy, that the Buick’s seat and seatbelt system were inadequate, that the car was not designed and equipped with alternative and safer components that were capable of minimizing the risk of significant injury associated with side impact collisions, and that the Buick was otherwise defective and unsafe.

The suit contains counts of strict liability and negligence.

The plaintiff seeks damages in excess of $50,000, together with interest and costs.

The complaint was filed April 29 at the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas by attorney Larry E. Coben of the firm Anapol Schwartz.


The case ID number is 130404304.

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