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Case Summaries

Defective Design: Defective Fuel System Burns Man to Death

Rusk County, Texas: On April 15, 2001, an Oldsmobile Aurora, driven by Mathew Eastwood, struck Prince Foster, driving his 1981 Chevrolet C2500 pickup, as Mr. Eastwood rounded a curve. Mr. Foster lost control of his pickup and it rolled, coming to rest on its roof. The roof crushed into the occupant space, trapping Mr. Foster inside the truck. His vehicle became engulfed in flames due to gasoline that was released from the sidesaddle gas tank and Mr. Foster, unable to escape, burned to death.

Wigington Rumley Dunn & Blair LLP filed a suit contending that Mr. Foster’s vehicle was defective based on inadequate fuel system integrity. This fuel tank was mounted to the vehicle outside the frame rail and was completely unguarded. Wigington Rumley Dunn & Blair LLP alleged this problem was later fixed by placing the fuel tank inside the frame rails and by using other guarding techniques. This case settled for a confidential sum.