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Case Summaries

Defective Design: Firefighter Dies from Defective Fire Truck

Potter County, Texas: On or about April 23, 2005, when a team of firefighters were responding to an emergency call, their 1998 American LaFrance ladder truck made a right turn and the left rear door unexpectedly opened, causing Christopher Brian Hunton, who was seated in the left, rear facing crew seat, to be ejected. Once ejected, Mr. Hunton fell to the street, sustaining severe injuries, which lead to his eventual death.

Wigington Rumley Dunn & Blair LLP filed a suit contending a product defect involving the failure of the doors to stay closed during a foreseeable accident. They contend that the vehicle, made by defendant Freightliner LLC, was defective due to both design and manufacturing defects. Additionally, Wigington Rumley Dunn & Blair LLP contend that the internal rods in the door were the wrong size and dimensions, and finally, they contend that the truck had been worked on numerous times at the Defendant Amarillo Truck Center, and they failed to fix and address the problems with the door coming open in transit. This case settled for a confidential sum.