Verdicts & Settlements
$6.7 Mil Awarded in Infant Car Seat Case
Posted Jul 26, 2007 10:31 AM CDT
By Molly McDonough
A jury in Livingston, Mont., awarded nearly $6.7 million to the family of a 4-month-old who died when his car seat was ejected from his mother's vehicle six years ago.
Jurors, who also found the car seat manufacturer liable for punitive damages, will now hear evidence about Evenflo's finances, the Chicago Tribune reports. Evenflo's On My Way model 207 car seat was one of the most popular child safety seats, with more than 3.4 million sold.
Parents Jessi and Chad Malcolm sued the company after Jessi Malcolm's car was forced off the road in July of 2000. The couple's son Tyler was ejected from the vehicle and found face down in a ditch, still strapped in his seat. He was later taken off life support and died.
Jurors found on Wednesday that the seat was defectively designed.
The Tribune reports that the Malcolm case illustrates "startling realities" in how government regulates the child-restraint industry. Car seats can repeatedly break during testing, yet there is no requirement that companies warn the public or change the design.
While the Malcolms argued that the seat was defective, the company maintains it was not and that the seat had never failed any tests.