General Motors named in wrongful death suit

Ann Knef Jan. 19, 2006, 1:55am

Melissa Kuebrich of Carrollton is suing General Motors for an alleged defectively designed steering system she claims was responsible for her husband's death in a head-on collision with a tow truck in 2004.

Brian J. Kuebrich, who was driving a 1999 Pontiac Sunfire, was killed Feb. 11, 2004, after colliding with a Ford truck owned by Alton Area Towing and Repair and driven by John S. Urbanowicz. Kuebrich, traveling west on West Delmar in Godfrey, was in Urbanowicz's eastbound lane.

According to the suit, General Motors is negligent for designing a vehicle "with a steering system which would not properly respond to input from the driver."

The complaint also alleges General Motors failed to warn purchasers of the defect and failed to recall the defective vehicles.

Seeking damages for wrongful death, negligence and product liability, the 12-count lawsuit was filed Jan. 13 in Madison County Circuit Court.

Kuebrich, represented by Charles W. Chapman and Brad M. Lakin of the Lakin Law Firm in Wood River, also names Urbanowicz, the tow company and Beltline Motors-- where the vehicle was purchased-- as defendants.

Urbanowicz is alleged to be negligent because he "failed to stop or slow his vehicle when he observed the vehicle Brian Kuebrich was driving approaching him in his lane," according to the complaint.

Urbanowicz also is blamed for not sounding his horn or swerving to avoid the collision.

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