Practice Area:Defective / Dangerous Products
Description:Wrongful death of a 19 year old man who, with his best friend, burned to death in the cab of his truck following a relatively minor side impact. The 1987 Chevrolet pick-up truck with gas tanks mounted outside the frame (“saddlebag gas tanks”) beneath the doors. The minor impact jammed the doors and also ruptured the unprotected gas tank. Both young men were trapped as the flames erupted from beneath the cab. Passerby stopped to help but the fire became a raging inferno before anyone could get to the young men. General Motors settled the case after numerous depositions were taken including some of GM employees who testified about numerous similar incidents involving the “saddlebag gas tanks.” Jeff Rickard and co-counsel, Brad Kuhlman, counsel for the family of the other decedent, engaged in a discovery effort that included enormous amounts of written materials and numerous depositions of parties, witnesses, first responders and experts in several States. The matter settled in mediation in Missouri.