Airbags on a 2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer failed to deploy during a traffic accident in
Illinois, causing severe injuries to the driver, according to a claim filed in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.
The complaint filed by the driver, Gary Williams, and his wife, Nina, says that General Motors is liable for the injuries and seeks compensatory and punitive damages for product liability, negligence and reckless conduct.
According to court documents, on March 2, 2012, Williams was in Henry County, Ill., traveling on I-80 from California on his way to his Norristown home, with a U-Haul trailer attached to the back of the Trailblazer. At 2 a.m., the car and trailer became jack-knifed, spreading across both eastbound lanes.
Moments later, an eastbound tractor-trailer collided with Williams' vehicle, causing the Trailblazer and U-Haul to disconnect and sending the car to rest on the median. The complaint says that at no point during the violent impact did the Trailblazer's front or side airbags deploy, causing Williams's injuries to become more severe.
The claim says that Williams experienced massive head trauma from the crash, including a subdural hematoma. He also sustained fractured ribs, a right adrenal hemorrhage and damage to the spine. The injuries required multiple surgeries and extended stays in the hospital, plus continued care and rehabilitation.
Williams has also been forced to pay for mounting medical expenses while experiencing decreased earning power and lack of ability to perform daily functions. He seeks an undisclosed amount in damages from GM, claiming that the car manufacturer failed to properly design and inspect the vehicle before its sale, placing its passengers in catastrophic danger.
Williams is represented by Edward Goldis of Feldman, Shepherd, Wohlgelernter, Tanner, Weinstock & Dodig.
The case ID number is 140300124.