Two-Year-Old Crashes Tesla Model X into Pregnant Mother
Tesla is being hit with yet another lawsuit related to its Model X, a semi-autonomous vehicle. By semi-autonomous, we mean that the Model X can drive itself but requires the oversight of a human passenger. The car has been in the crosshairs of several lawsuits both foreign and domestic. Some of these were related to the car’s advanced AI that allows it to maneuver in traffic while other lawsuits are related to the lithium-ion battery which can explode under the right conditions.
Weirdest of all, however, is the allegation that a two-year-old actually drove the vehicle into his pregnant mother. Let’s take a closer look at this one.
The Product Liability Lawsuit Against Tesla
A California family is alleging that Mallory Harcourt was pinned to the garage wall when her two-year-old climbed into her Tesla and drove it toward her. Harcourt was eight months pregnant at the time of the accident and, although the child was uninjured, it had to be delivered prematurely. Harcourt also contends that she suffered several broken bones in the incident and required medical treatment.
The Tesla Model X looks like something out of Back to the Future. It has the same “falcon wing” doors of the Delorean made famous by the movie. According to Mallory Harcourt, she left the doors open and her two-year-old climbed into the car and managed to climb into the front seat. Harcourt went after the boy but he managed to sent the car forward injuring his mother.
Is the Key Fob System Dangerous?
The Tesla Model X doesn’t have a start button or ignition. The car is “on” when the key fob is within range. The plaintiffs are alleging that this system is intrinsically dangerous. In a product liability lawsuit like this one, the plaintiffs are not expected to prove negligence which would require them to show that the problem was foreseeable. All the plaintiffs will need to prove is that, in the process of using the product, someone was injured. In this case, however, the plaintiffs are alleging negligence and attempting to sue for punitive damages which require that they show extreme or gross negligence.
In accord with this claim, they are accusing Tesla of not implementing sufficient safety features to prevent accidents like this from happening. Additionally, they allege that a secondary feature that causes the rear falcon-wing doors to shut when the brake is depressed is also cause for concern. Problematically, however, that’s not how the injury occurred in this case. The injury occurred because a 2-year-old boy was able to get behind the wheel and send the car into his mother. If this case goes to trial, there will be some jurors who believe that had the mother been watching her child properly, she would not have been injured by the car. Other jurors will recognize that, as a parent, there are a million things to consider and you can’t always anticipate everything. In this case, an additional safety feature could have prevented a serious injury.
Talk to a Miami Personal Injury and Product Liability Attorney Today
If you’ve been injured by a defective product, the Miami product liability attorneys at the office of Alan Goldfarb, P.A. can help. Give us a call to set up a free consultation.