» Judge Rules Florida Wrongful Death Lawsuit Can Move Forward

Judge Rules Florida Wrongful Death Lawsuit Can Move Forward

Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) July 20, 2015 - A judge declined to dismiss a wrongful death lawsuit filed against General Motors and a Florida Chevrolet dealer by the parents of a man who was killed when his vehicle accelerated and careened onto Interstate 75.

The lawsuit was filed by Karl and Sharon Stutzman over the death of their son Stephen Stutzman in August 2012. Stutzman was driving home from work in The Villages in a Chevrolet van purchased by his employer. As Stutzman approached the intersection of two county roads, the vehicle did not stop, but accelerated to almost 100 mph, crashing through a barrier fence and onto Interstate 75. Stutzman died at the scene.

“If this young man's death was the result of defective design or manufacturing, then a wrongful death lawsuit is appropriate for the family to obtain compensation for their loss,” said Robert Joyce, a Tampa wrongful death attorney with Joyce & Reyes, who is not involved in the case.

The lawsuit blames a defective electronic control system for the crash, and alleges that General Motors is responsible for improper design, manufacturing and distribution of the vehicle. The lawsuit also alleges that the retailer failed to identify and repair leaks that caused repeated water intrusion into the van, despite a GM bulletin issued to dealers about the matter. According to the lawsuit, the leaks can cause damage not visible to the average buyer.

In August 2014, George Nahas Chevrolet filed a motion to dismiss the wrongful death lawsuit, arguing that the plaintiffs failed to show that the alleged faulty code mentioned in the bulletin ever affected Stutzman's van. Circuit Judge Edward Scott stated in his written order that the plaintiffs had properly stated a cause of action.

Joyce and Reyes Law Firm, P.A.
307 S Hyde Park Ave
Tampa, FL 33606
Call: 813.251.2007


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