Defective Design: Frat Party Turns Fatal
Hot Spring County, Arkansas: On or about March 12, 2005, the Archer family was traveling home in their 1992 Chevrolet extended cab pickup truck when a 2003 Ford Mustang, being driven by an intoxicated Antony R. Moore, struck them, injuring all involved.
Antony R. Moore was leaving a Sigma Tau Gamma Alpha Epsilon party, with three times the legal alcohol limit when he hit the truck, and did not survive the crash. The driver of the Chevy truck, Charles R. Archer sustained several injuries, including crushed feet and was hospitalized for weeks. Linda Archer, the right front passenger sustained multiple injuries as well, including external and internal injuries and permanent facial scarring. Seven-year-old Mason, who was seated in the center rear passenger seating position and was properly restrained in his seat belt, sustained injuries that resulted in serious, permanent and disabling injuries, including paralysis.
Wigington Rumley Dunn & Blair, L.L.P. filed suit contending that the 1992 Chevrolet extended cab pickup truck was defective in design and unreasonably dangerous, due to the vehicle’s lack of crashworthiness and failure to provide adequate occupant restraint protection during a foreseeable collision. The vehicle’s rear seat system and its components, including seating positions and occupant restraint system was defective and unreasonably dangerous and such condition was a producing cause of the injuries to Mason Archer.
Plaintiffs also alleged negligence on the part of Antony Moore, the driver, and Daniel Milam, Michelle Milam and Sigma Tau Gamma Alpha Epsilon, the hosts of the party Moore attended. This case settled for a confidential sum.