Accident victim sues auto maker and dealer for quadriplegia

By Steve Gonzalez | Apr 12, 2006

DaimlerChrysler and the Auto Mart of Mt. Vernon were named in a Madison County civil lawsuit filed by a woman who became a quadriplegic after a vehicle rollover accident.

Angel Koch claims that on April 14, 2004, she was a passenger in a 2001 Jeep Cherokee that went out of control and rolled over on the roadway on Walnut Hill Road near Centralia.

She claims the Jeep was defectively designed and manufactured and that the defects caused or contributed to her injuries.

Specifically, Koch claimsthat:

  • the roof failed to have proper support to prevent it from crushing in a foreseeable impact or roll overs;

  • the Jeep Cherokee was dynamically unstable and subject to roll over in foreseeable road maneuvers; and

  • the vehicle did not contain adequate warnings concerning the use of the sport utility vehicle.

    Koch also claims the dealer which sold the car had a duty to sell a vehicle whose roof would not crush in a collision such as the Jeep she was a passenger.

    She claims Auto Mart of Mt. Vernon was in possession of design, research and development documents and information concerning the 2001 Jeep Cherokee and had or should have knowledge of the defective and unreasonable dangerous design of the vehicle and failed to correct it.

    Koch also alleges that the dealership knew of many incidences of Jeep Cherokee's rolling over and as a result the roof crushed and failed to warn her of that knowledge.

    "The defendants knew or should have known of the absence of warnings before placing it in the stream of commerce and failed to do so," the complaint alleges.

    Koch also claims that DaimlerChrysler impliedly warranted that the Jeep was of merchantable quality.

    "The vehicle was not merchantable as it was dynamically unstable and rolled over during foreseeable highway maneuvers," the complaint states.

    Koch claims that she was injured and suffered bodily injury resulting in pain and suffering, disability, disfigurement, mental anguish, loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life, expense of hospitalization, medical and nursing care and treatment, loss of earning and the loss of the ability to earn money.

    "The injury to Koch is permanent within a reasonable degree of medical probability, and Koch will continue to suffer the losses in the future."

    Koch is represented by Christopher Daniels of the Daniels Law Office in Centralia and Raymond Bodiford of Orlando, Fla.

    The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Lola Maddox.

    06 L 335

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