A $14 million dollar product liability judgment favoring the parents of a teen severely injured when his vehicle side air bag failed to inflate in a crash was reversed recently by the Virginia Supreme Court, which found plaintiff's expert witness testimony lacking.
Specifically, the court found the expert witness had failed to conduct adequate testing proving his theory that if the airbag sensor had been moved to a different location in this model of vehicle, it would have prevented the teen's injuries. The expert had opined the location of the side airbag sensor had rendered the vehicle unreasonably dangerous.
The case, Hyundai Motor Co. v. Duncan, stemmed from a single-vehicle crash in which the teen lost control of the car, careened off the road, struck two snow banks, a bale of hay and finally, a tree. His side air bag did not deploy, and the teen suffered serious and debilitating head injuries.