A North Texas couple has been awarded more than $40 million in a lawsuit over what was described as “shoddy repair work” that came to light after a near-fatal car crash that occurred on Dec. 21, 2013. Some observers believe that the four-year legal battle could also lead to changes in the collision repair industry. Matthew Seebachan and his wife Marcia were injured in the crash, but survived after being pulled from their burning car.
The couple found out after the crash that the used 2010 Honda Fit, recently purchased, had previously received substantial repairs. The repair work was not included in a car history report the couple asked for before buying the car. The repairs had been done at the request of the previous owner who took the car to John Eagle Collision Center in Dallas for the work.
The Seebachans filed a lawsuit accusing the body shop of performing defective, negligent and untested repairs. The roof of the car had been replaced with a new roof. However, workers at John Eagle used a glue-like adhesive instead of welding the roof down, as is recommended by Honda. The Plaintiffs contended that “shoddy work” led to the fire and the couple being trapped inside of the car.
A Dallas County jury awarded the Plaintiffs $42 million in damages. Mr. and Mrs. Seebachans want their court victory to send a message to companies in the repair business. Mrs. Seebachans had this to say:
Integrity matters. You don’t get to make decision in the best interest of your company and prevent customers from making an informed decision about the safety of themselves and their family.
Dallas automotive executive John Eagle and Todd Tracy, the Plaintiffs’ lawyer, released a joint statement, saying:
Dallas automotive executive John Eagle and vehicle safety lawyer Todd Tracy agreed to work together today to improve safety standards in the nation’s collision repair industry… The damages were awarded to a Dallas couple who were critically crushed and burned following a high-speed head on collision when the roof of their 2010 Honda Fit separated in part due to being repaired with bonding epoxy instead of welded in accordance with an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) bulletin.
However, this legal battle is not over. The Seebachans are now named as Plaintiffs in a lawsuit against State Farm Mutual Automotive Insurance Company. It’s claimed in that suit that the insurance company forced the body shop to use the adhesive rather than welding the roof. State Farm has denied the allegations against the company.
If you would like more information about these cases, you can contact Arnold Stulce or John Yantis. They can be reached at 423-267-9072 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.Comments: Leave a comment