Speeding is always a safety risk, but especially on turns going nearly 100 miles per hour over the speed limit. The family of an 18-year-old boy killed in a Tesla car accident is suing the car manufacturer for what the attorney calls an “unreasonably dangerous” car.
Edgar Monserratt alleges that the Tesla in which his son was riding when he died contained a defective battery. In addition, he claims the company was negligent for removing the speed governor on the car when it was last in the Tesla shop. Plaintiffs are seeking at least $18,000 in damages, but nothing will bring back their son.
Unsafe Car or Unsafe Driving?
Edgar Monserratt’s 18-year-old son, Edgar Monserratt Martinez, was in the passenger seat of a Tesla Model S car driven by his friend Barrett Riley in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Riley was driving down Seabreeze Boulevard at over 116 mph. Riley was in the right lane, but moved to the left to pass a car while going around a curve with a warning sign to slow to 25 mph. When Riley attempted to move back into the right lame, he hit an adjacent wall, came back into the road, then hit a light post on the opposite side of the street. At that point, the car erupted into flames and killed both Martinez and Riley.
Riley was no stranger to speeding in that car. In fact, about two months before the crash, after receiving a speeding ticket for going 112 mph down a Florida highway, Riley’s parents had Tesla install a speed limiting governor on the car that would artificially cap the car’s rate of speed at 85 mph. However, when the car was subsequently in the Tesla maintenance shop, Tesla removed the governor without Riley’s parents permission.
Negligent Care and Negligent Manufacturing
Monserratt is claiming two causes of negligence in his case, one for the negligent removal of the governor, and another under defective product. “The Tesla S sedan had inadequate measures to prevent a post-collision fire and had inadequate measures to contain a fire,” said Chicago attorney Philip Corboy Jr., one of the attorneys representing Monserratt.
There have been stories in the news about Tesla battery backs catching fire, and even reigniting, as Riley’s did when it was on the tow truck being hauled away, and again at the salvage yard. But according to Tesla, the rate at which the batteries explode is far less than the average car. Since the Model S was released in June of 2012, there have been at least a dozen battery fires worldwide, according to plaintiff’s attorney.
However, according to the National Fire Protection Association, fire departments respond to an average of 152,300 car fires per year in America alone. Tesla also claims that no car would have been able to refrain from catching car on an impact such as this one.
If you feel that you have been injured by a dangerous product, contact a products liability attorney. Product liability actions are often complex and vary somewhat by state law. An experienced attorney will be able to answer your questions and protect your interests, often at no cost to you.
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