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Plaintiff was the front passenger in a vehicle traveling Northbound on a 2-lane roadway. While traveling through an "S" turn, the vehicle lost control and entered into a critical speed skid. The initial impact occurred when the front of the auto that had been traveling to the rear struck the front passenger side door of the subject vehicle. The subject vehicle then came to rest facing South in the Southbound lane, when a Southbound vehicle struck (head on) the rear of the subject vehicle.

Plaintiff contended that the initial impact to the side of the vehicle caused the engagement of the seat-back adjustment lever (allowing the seat-back to move freely). Plaintiff further claimed that at the time of the 2nd impact, the Plaintiff's body was accelerated to the rear of the vehicle, with Plaintiff's head striking the rear seat and ceiling. Plaintiff alleged that the design of the vehicle was faulty, and therefore was a Product Defect, based on the ability of the initial impact to cause the engagement of the seat-back adjustment lever.

Defendant Vehicle Manufacturer contended that both the initial impact, and the 2nd impact were of such a magnitude that it was not reasonably foreseeable that such damage and forces would be imparted on a vehicle during a single sequence, and that as such there was no defect in the design or construction of the subject vehicle.

WEXCO's Accident Reconstruction Analysis Team was retained to perform a detailed Accident Reconstruction analysis of the subject collision sequence, including determining the following:

  • Speed of the subject vehicle when it first entered the "S" turn
  • Relative speeds of the vehicles at the time of the initial impact, as well as the resulting impact forces
  • Speed of the Southbound vehicle at the time of the 2nd impact, including the impact forces imparted on the subject vehicle
  • Determination of the impact related forces most likely imparted on the Plaintiff, and the Plaintiff's seat-back, as a result of both impacts
  • Coordination with other experts relative to determining the adequacy of the design and construction of the subject vehicle components
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Dr. Stephen C. Wexler: 40 years experience in construction, construction management, safety and related. Unusual combination of safety engineering and construction and civil engineering permits separate areas within construction, safety, and premises liability. 6 years Instructor at UCLA Evening Extension in Engineering & Construction Management, and 4 years US Navy Seabees Instructor for Construction Management - Port Hueneme, CA and Gulfport, Mississippi.

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