Motorist sues Toyota alleging crash caused spinal injuries due to defective seat

A motorist is suing Toyota, alleging a defective seat in her vehicle caused her to suffer serious spinal injuries during a highway collision.

Plaintiffs Helen and Byron Beiermann filed the lawsuit in the St. Clair County Circuit Court against Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc., Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc., Toyota Motor Corporation, RKD Automotive, Inc., and David Clayton, citing negligence, strict liability, and breach of warranty.

According to the lawsuit, on July 14, 2022, Helen Beiermann was driving a 2015 Toyota Venza southbound on Highway 3 in Jersey County. She claims she was stopped and waiting to make a left turn when she was rear-ended by defendant Clayton, who failed to stop in time to avoid the collision. The lawsuit alleges that during the collision, Helen was wearing her seatbelt but the seat in her car was defective. The lawsuit states that the seatback and headrest in Helen’s car failed, causing her to ramp rearward and suffer severe spinal injuries.

Helen claims her Toyota vehicle, which was designed, manufactured and sold by Toyota, was defective and unreasonably dangerous in its design and manufacture.

Helen further claims Clayton was negligent in his failure to operate his vehicle in a safe and reasonable manner, including driving at a speed that exceeded the ability to stop within a safe distance, failing to maintain control of the vehicle, following another vehicle too closely, neglecting to keep a proper lookout, and failing to take evasive action.

Helen claims that, as a result of the defendants’ collective negligence, she has suffered severe spinal injuries resulting in paraplegia. She claims that as a result of her injuries, she has experienced disability, pain, suffering, and mental and emotional distress. She also alleges her injuries will impact her ability to enjoy a normal life. She adds that she has incurred medical and rehabilitation expenses and will continue to require the services of medical staff to recover from her injuries.

Byron is Helen’s husband and claims that, as a result of the defendants’ negligence, he has suffered the loss of Helen’s consortium, love and support.

The plaintiffs are seeking damages plus court costs, interest, and any other relief the court deems proper.

This article was first published in Madison Record.

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