Kia Optima Lawsuit Filed Over Death From Collapsed Seat

A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed by the family of a woman who died in an auto accident when the seat of a Kia Optima collapsed during the collision. 

The complaint was filed earlier this month by Kenneth R. Waggoner, on behalf of his deceased wife, Marlene, and by Pamela Hill-Thomas in Madison County Circuit Court in Illinois. Kia Motors, Johnson Controls Inc., Weber Granite City Chevrolet Company and Patrick L. Mays are named as defendants in the lawsuit.

According to the Kia Optima lawsuit, Waggoner died in March 2010 when the vehicle she was riding in was rear-ended by Mays, who was allegedly drunk and driving a Chevrolet Malibu. The impact caused the front passenger seat holding Waggoner, and the driver’s seat, holding Hill-Thomas, to collapse.

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Both women suffered spinal injuries and were hospitalized as a result of the accident, the lawsuit alleges. Waggoner died from her injuries two months later in May 2010.

The complaint claims that Kia knew the seats were defective and may collapse in rear-impact collisions, but failed to warn consumers and failed to ensure their vehicles were safe and free of defects. The lawsuit accuses the manufacturers of selling and marketing a defective vehicle, failure to warn and wrongful death.


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