Chrysler Knew of, Concealed Grab Handle Defect
(AMARILLO, Texas) – A Pampa, Texas, woman who fell and broke her hip after the plastic grab handle on her brother’s 2006 Dodge Ram 2500 pickup truck broke has sued the auto giant, charging the manufacturer knew for years the grab handle was unsafe and concealed that fact from consumers since 2004.
The product-liability case filed on behalf of Merdella Hughes by the Will Ferguson & Associates Law Firm lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas seeks more than $1 million in damages for pain and suffering, disfigurement, mental anguish and past and future medical costs.
The lawsuit against the manufacturer, the Chrysler Group, charges that the company knew of the defect as early as April 2004 through thousands of consumer complaints, as well as through research published by Motor Trend and Truck Trend magazines, but that Chrysler negligently marketed trucks equipped with the unsafe handles anyway.
The 72-year-old woman has been unable to walk without a cane or a walker since the July 12, 2011, fall from her brother’s truck and has endured continuing medical bills and pain, according to the lawsuit, which was filed March 14.
“A properly designed and manufactured grab handle must be able to withstand, without breaking or coming loose, the ordinary and anticipated physical forces exerted daily by users of the vehicles,” according to the lawsuit.
Chrysler previously had been sued by others injured in falls caused by the defective grab handle but made no attempt to warn the Texas woman or other consumers, said her attorney, Jesse Quackenbush of the Will Ferguson Law Firm.
“Chrysler fraudulently concealed and misrepresented that my client’s truck was free from defects and took no action to adequately warn or remedy the defects,” Quackenbush said. “Rather, they fraudulently concealed and suppressed a defect that posed a serious safety hazard.”
Other lawsuits around the United States allege injuries from similar falls, ranging from broken bones to permanent brain injuries, caused by the grab handle defect, Quackenbush said.
The lawsuit charges product liability, failure to warn and other wrongdoing by Chrysler that warrants compensation for the woman’s actual damages. The suit also alleges gross negligence and seeks punitive damages to discourage the defendant from further activity that could harm the public.
Quackenbush seeks witnesses and other people injured in similar accidents throughout the United States. He urged them to seek legal counsel before the statute of limitations involving their accident expires.
The Will Ferguson & Associates Law Firm represents people seriously injured by the negligence of others and the families of persons who die because of the negligence of others. For more information, contact Jesse Quackenbush of Will Ferguson & Associates, (505) 243-5566 or 1 (800) 251-5566. Will Ferguson & Associates also maintains an Amarillo office to serve families and people injured in Texas. That office is at 2901 I-40 West, Amarillo, Texas 79109.