South Carolina Auto Liability Case May Set New Bar For Awarding Damages
Posted on May 04, 2017 by BY TURNER PADGET LITIGATION TEAM
Questions before the South Carolina Supreme Court could change whether negligence in causing a car accident now may be considered in awarding damages for injuries allegedly caused by a vehicle’s design flaw.
The answers to questions of state law certified in the federal products liability case Donze v. General Motors hinge on the South Carolina Supreme Court’s decision on whether comparative negligence, which apportions damages based on fault, applies in crashworthiness cases.
For years, South Carolina plaintiffs have been able to successfully argue that the circumstances of what caused an accident are irrelevant when considering liability based on crashworthiness, which is the degree to which a vehicle will protect its occupants from the effects of an accident – often referred to as the second collision.
Under the crashworthiness theory in South Carolina, a manufacturer can be held responsible for a design flaw of the vehicle that enhances or aggravates the injuries above and beyond those from the initial collision.continue reading