Fiat Chrysler has decided to go to trial instead of settle a
wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of Remington Walden, a four-year-old boy who
died in a horrific fire associated with a 2012
car accident. The 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee carrying Walden caught fire after being
According to the family's testimony, Walden's chest fused to the
Jeep's door due to the heat generated by the fire. Based on his positioning
in his booster seat at the time of his death, it was clear that he was
struggling unsuccessfully to flee the vehicle. The medical examiner at
the scene estimated Walden was probably alive for about a minute while
being engulfed in flames.
wrongful death lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler claims the fire occurred due to the fuel tank being
placed only 11 inches away from the rear bumper. According to the family's
attorney, this placement led to an increased risk of fire in the event of a
rear-end car accident.
Since 1998, there have been numerous reports of Jeep vehicles experiencing
fuel tank ruptures after a rear-end car accident. The NHTSA has reported
75 fatalities and numerous other severe
burn injuries associated with these fires.
After investigating the issue, the NHTSA required Fiat Chrysler to recall
2.7 million Jeep Grand Cherokee and Jeep Liberty vehicles manufactured
between 1998 and 2013. The agency declared that by placing the fuel tank
between the axle and bumper (instead of in front of the axle), these vehicles
constituted a safety hazard.
In order to fix the issue, Fiat Chrysler installed tow hitches on 1.5 million
recalled Jeeps. However, many vehicle safety experts indicate that this
solution will only guard against a fire in the event of a law speed car
accident. In addition, it appears that there are many other Jeeps that
should have been included in the recall.
Fiat Chrysler is taking a considerable risk by letting this case go to
trial. If they lose, it will place renewed scrutiny on the safety of these
vehicles and potentially result in additional recalls. In addition, it
may provide greater incentive for other burn injury and
wrongful death victims to file similar lawsuits against the auto manufacturer.
If you suffered a burn injury or lost a loved one in a fire caused by one
of these Jeeps, you may be able to recover compensation for your damages. Our
defective auto lawyers at Golomb & Honik, P.C. have decades of trial experience and the vast
resources of a large personal injury law firm. This background will give
you the edge you need when battling the high powered legal teams employed
by negligent auto manufacturers.
Please contact Golomb & Honik, P.C. using the form at the left side
of the page or
call (215) 278-4449 today to
schedule your free defective auto consultation. We serve clients in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area.