Nissan Pathfinder Lawsuit Verdict of $1.8 Million Will Stand

A jury award of $1.85 million against Nissan Motor Co. in a product liability lawsuit filed over injuries alleged caused by design defects with the 1995 Pathfinder will stand, after a federal judge denied Nissan’s request for a new trial.

The Nissan Pathfinder lawsuit was filed by Rebecca Perdue in the Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas in December 2007, claiming that the Pathfinder was not adequately crashworthy, and was missing safety design features that Nissan was well aware of at the time, such as airbags and other advanced safety restraint features.

The complaint also argued that Nissan knew the Pathfinder was unreasonably dangerous and defective, because the vehicle had poor crash test performances, real world incidents and a high death rate.

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Perdue, a 63-year-old resident of Tyler, Texas, suffered severe injuries in a three-car collision that occurred on November 28, 2006, according to a report in The Southeast Texas Record. In the collision, Purdue’s Pathfinder was struck by a vehicle that had just recently hit another car and was careening out of control. The impact drove the left front tire of Perdue’s Pathfinder through the firewall and into the footwell of the driver’s side, causing Perdue to suffer a right tibia and fibula fracture, as well as fractures of both ankles.

The Texas jury found that Nissan was responsible for Perdue’s injuries, and awarded $1.85 million in damages. Nissan sought a new trial, claiming that inappropriate plaintiff’s arguments were made to the jury and that the court made improper comments on the evidence. Nissan also argued that the drivers of the other two vehicles should have shared responsibility for Perdue’s injuries.

The Court denied Nissan’s motion, upholding the verdict.


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