The families of a woman and three children who drowned in 2007 when a van rolled into a pond in Bridgeport, Conn., have settled their lawsuit against the dealership that sold the van. The van was parked when it began rolling down a hill. Michelle McIntosh ran after the van, but couldn’t stop it before it went into the water. She drowned, along with the children inside the van. An investigation determined one of the children had shifted the transmission into drive.
In 1999 most car companies had installed a safety device to prevent the transmission from being shifted into drive without the brake being depressed. But the 1999 Plymouth Grand Voyager in this case was sold without that device. The children who died were Ms. McIntosh’s son; David Jr., 2; Jayden Wilson, 6, her nephew; and 2-year-old Julia Boyd, the daughter of a family friend.
The terms of the settlement with the Loman Auto Group of Woodbridge, N.J., are confidential. The Plaintiffs had offered to settle the case for $15.5 million. There was no lawsuit filed against the car company, because Plymouth had gone bankrupt. The dealership that sold the van was sued. After the drowning deaths, the city installed a rail barrier along the road above the pond where the accident happened.
William M. Bloss, with Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder, in Bridgeport, Conn., represented the McIntosh family. Peter M. Dreyer, with Silver Golub & Teitell in Stanford, Conn., represented the Boyd family. Each of these lawyers did a very good job in this very sad case.
Source: The Connecticut Post and Claims Journal
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