PLAINTIFF ATTORNEY: Gillin, Jacobson, Ellis and Larsen, Orinda, by Luke Ellis

Plaintiffs in this action were the wife and two minor children of decedent, a 36-year old mail carrier for the United States Postal Service. Plaintiffs wife was driving at approximately 60 mile per hour when the right rear tire of plaintiffs’ vehicle separated. She lost control, the vehicle left the road, and decedent and one of the children were ejected in the ensuing rollover accident.

Plaintiffs contended that the defective tire had a “prevulcanizing” manufacturing defect, making defendant tire manufacturer liable for the injuries and wrongful death; and that defendant auto dealership failed to properly inspect and discover the defect during a tire rotation performed a month before the accident.

Defendants maintained that plaintiff wife was comparatively at fault for losing control of the vehicle; and that decedent and the ejected plaintiff daughter were not wearing their seatbelts and would not have been injured if they were belted.

INJURIES: Death of father. Plaintiffs suffered minimal physical injuries but all claimed Dillon v. Legg emotional distress.

SPECIALS: Medical and burial $23,689. Plaintiffs claimed a past and future loss of support, disputed by defendants.

RESULT: The case settled before trial for $1,900,000.00 present cash value.