Jury Finds Toyota Negligent, Awards Family more than $242M

A North Texas jury awarded a combined verdict of $242.1 million to a Dallas-area family after a seatback defect in their 2002 Lexus ES 300 collapsed on the couple’s young children in a 2016 crash. The verdict includes more than $143.6 million in punitive damages.

The couple, Benjamin and Kristi Reavis filed a lawsuit after a 2016 rear-end crash led to serious injuries in their two small children. The couple said that Toyota consciously failed to consider the safety of backseat passengers while protecting front-seat occupants from crash injuries.

The wreck that led to the children’s injuries occurred in September 2016. The family was traveling south on North Central Expressway in Dallas. The couple’s car was stopped in traffic when it was rear-ended by a Honda Pilot. The rear impact caused both front seats to fail and collapse on their 3-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter’s car seats. The children suffered severe head trauma and other injuries.

During two weeks of testimony, the couple’s attorneys documented engineering, design and structural problems with the front seats of the Lexus. The jury returned the verdict against Lexus auto manufacturer Toyota a little more than eight hours after closing arguments. The jury found that the front seats in the ES 300 were unreasonably dangerous. Further, the jury recognized that the defendants failed to warn about those dangers. 

The Carlson Law Firm Can Help Victims of a Seatback Defect

The Carlson Law Firm has been an advocate for personal injury victims for more than 40 years. Our legal team has a wide range of skills that you can use to your benefit. We have a proven history of success in assisting victims injured as a result of defective auto parts.

A seatback defect is not only dangerous to the occupants in the seat, but also to those in the backseat. Auto manufacturers have a responsibility to ensure the safety of consumers. If you were injured or lost a loved one because of an auto product defect, we want to help. We have a team of compassionate product liability attorneys who can help you navigate the legal system. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

Find an auto product liability attorney near me.

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