Subaru of America and Subaru Indiana Automotive has been hit with another class-action lawsuit involving the Subaru Outback. The new lawsuit involves a Virginia woman who claims to have been injured when the airbag in her 2011 Subaru Outback deployed after she was involved in a minor accident. The new lawsuit was filed in December and the motion to dismiss the case by Subaru was denied by James P. Jones U.S. District Judge in Virginia.
The plaintiff, Rebecca Rentz James is being represented by attorneys Woods Rogers PLC, Roanoke, Virginia. James claims she was driving her 2011 Subaru Outback in Tazewell County, Virginia, and while making a right turn, the right front fender of the vehicle made contact with a tree adjacent to the road. The “brush with the tree” caused only minor damage to the fender and posed no risk of harm to James.
Women claims her 2011 Subaru Outback airbag “forcefully” deployed injuring her spine and neck
The court record says, after the vehicle contacted the tree, James was able to correct the vehicle’s direction and bring it to a stop in the right lane. Although the vehicle had only lightly touched the tree, the vehicle’s driver side curtain airbag “forcefully” deployed striking the women on the upper left side of her body injuring her cervical spine and neck.
James alleges that such a minor accident was foreseeable to Subaru Corporation and Subaru Indiana Automotive, where the Outback wagon is manufactured, and that the brief, non-dangerous contact should not have triggered deployment of the airbag in the Outback.
The Subaru Outback is manufactured in Indiana
The Virginia woman further alleges that the airbag deployed with “excessive and dangerous force” and it was foreseeable to Subaru that such an unnecessary deployment of the airbag posed an unreasonable risk of harm to drivers. The court records say Jones claims there is a breach of the implied warranty of merchantability, negligence, and failure to warn customers of the airbag issue. James seeks $12.5 million in damages.
Judge James P. Jones said, “I find that James has adequately pled that if the airbag (in the 2011 Subaru Outback) was not defective or were she warned of its defect, she would not have been injured by its unexpected and forceful deployment” and allowed the class-action lawsuit to move forward. Stay tuned to Torque News for any new information on the case when it becomes available.
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Denis Flierl has invested nearly 30 years in the automotive industry in a variety of roles. All of his reports are archived on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Subaru Report. Check back tomorrow for more Subaru news and updates!
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