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Columbia Personal Injury Lawyer > Blog > Car Accident > Family Gets Settlement After Rear Axle Detachment Causes Teen’s Fatal Collision

Family Gets Settlement After Rear Axle Detachment Causes Teen’s Fatal Collision


We have all heard the stories about the fancy new cars that went berserk and caused accidents despite the driver doing everything right and about the ostentatious vintage vehicles built, or rather rebuilt, for show and not for safety that provided 1970s levels of safety in the event of a collision.  Who can forget when Mena Massoud bought himself a Tesla in Florida to celebrate the success of his starring role in the live action Aladdin movie, only for the car to spontaneously lose a wheel as he was driving it, years after buying it?  And then there was that time when Kevin Hart was riding in style in California in a Plymouth Barracuda substantially older than he was, and when it crashed, it made him appreciate 21st century safety features, even if they don’t look as cool as old school cars.  The 99 percent tend to buy cars based on safety instead of based on looks, but despite their efforts, defects in the cars sometimes cause accidents or fail to provide the safety they are meant to provide in the event of a collision.  If you have been injured in a car accident caused or exacerbated by a defective auto part, contact a Columbia car accident lawyer.

Toyota Pays Settlement to Victim’s Family After Years of Litigation

In September 2012, Lacee Dial had just started her senior year of high school and planned to study veterinary medicine after she graduated.  She was driving to an interview for an internship with a veterinarian near Williamston when the rear axle of her 1999 Toyota 4Runner fractured and caused a wheel to detach.  The fracture caused the vehicle to drive off the road and crash.  It took rescuers two hours to extract Lacee from the vehicle, but she died of her injuries.  She was 17 years old.

Lacee’s father Donald Dial filed a lawsuit against Toyota the following year, alleging product liability.  The lawsuit claimed that there was nothing about the road conditions, the weather, or Lacee’s driving behavior that would have caused the accident.  It cited multiple other examples of axle fractures of vehicles of the same model and alleged that Toyota should have issued a safety recall.  For years, Toyota denied responsibility for its role in contributing to the crash, and the case eventually went to trial.

In 2018, a jury ruled in favor of the plaintiff.  The court ordered Toyota to pay $12 million in damages to Lacee’s family.  Half of this amount is compensation for the pain and suffering that Lacee endured in her final hours, and the other half is compensation for wrongful death and for her family’s loss of their daughter.

Let Us Help You Today

The car accident lawyers at the Stanley Law Group can help you if you were injured in a car accident caused by the malfunction of part of your car or of the other car in the collision.  Contact The Stanley Law Group in Columbia, South Carolina or call (803)799-4700 for a free initial consultation.



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