A Philadelphia returned a $55 million verdict last month against Honda Motor Co. in a lawsuit involving a seatbelt defect. The jury ruled in favor of plaintiff Carlos Martinez, who became a quadriplegic after his 1999 Acura Integra rolled over in an accident. The seatbelt didn’t keep the plaintiff’s head from hitting the top of the car as the car rolled over, causing his paralysis. It appears Honda knew about the defect as early as 1992, but did nothing to fix it. Neither did the automaker disclose the defect to vehicles’ owners.
The verdict includes $25 million for the plaintiff’s noneconomic damages such as pain and suffering. It also included $14.6 million for future medical expenses, $15 million for his wife’s loss of consortium and $720,000 for lost future earnings. The plaintiff was represented by Stewart J. Eisenberg and Daniel J. Sherry Jr. who are with Eisenbert Rothweiler Winkler Eisenberg & Jeck. They did a very good job in this case, which was tried in the Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia, Pa.
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