Widow Sues Tesla, Alleges That Autopilot Malfunction Caused Fatal Crash
Unless you are an industry insider or a skilled researcher, you probably get plenty of mixed messages about the state-of-the-art features found on new models of cars. On the one hand, tech news sites run plenty of puff pieces about how the new features of cars will make driving so much easier and so much more fun. On the other hand, clickbait headlines about how all the products we use in daily life care conspiring to kill us seem to pop up everywhere. In fact, every feature that becomes commercially available has already gone through years of testing and product development to ensure its safety. Product malfunctions still sometimes happen, though, and while most of the time, the only consequence is that you complain that your expensive new car is a lemon, those malfunctions are sometimes bad enough to cause injury or worse. If you were injured in a car accident caused by a product malfunction, you may have grounds for a product liability lawsuit.
The Delray Beach Tesla Crash
In the spring of 2019, Jeremy Banner was driving his Tesla Model 3 in Delray Beach when a truck collided with his car; Banner died as a result of the accident. His widow filed a lawsuit against the Tesla company, which is based in Palo Alto, California. In the lawsuit, she alleges that, if the car’s autopilot system had been working properly, her husband would have been able to avoid the collision. Meanwhile, the lawyers for Tesla argue that the autopilot system for the car did what it had promised to do. They say that the autopilot systems in their cars are intended for use by drivers who are alert and who abide by traffic laws. The technology is not meant to be a substitute for caution by a human driver, and its marketing materials make this clear. The autopilot system is not meant to prevent crashes by itself; the driver must take action to prevent a crash when another vehicle is in danger of colliding with them.
The Legal Issues
Why did Mrs. Banner decide to name Tesla as a defendant in the lawsuit? The truck driver was the one at fault for the crash; it is not as though Banner’s car drove straight into an oncoming truck despite his efforts to stop it. It is possible that the court would side with her if she were to sue the truck driver. In general, though, plaintiffs have a better chance of recovering damages if the defendant is a big company. Product liability lawsuits also play a role in causing companies to make their products safer.
Contact Scott Smith About Product Liability Cases
If you have suffered major injuries because of a defective product, a product liability lawsuit might be the best way to recover from your financial losses. A personal injury lawyer can help you decide if a product liability lawsuit is right for you. Contact Palm Beach County product liability attorney Scott Smith for a consultation.