Fiat Chrysler Asks Georgia Judge for New Trail in 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee Fire Case
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles asked a Georgia judge for a new trail almost a month after a jury awarded $150 million to the family of a 4-year-old Georgia boy burned to death in a 1999 jeep Grand Cherokee fire.
Fiat Chrysler says the death of 4-year-old Remi Walden in a Jeep gas tank fire is not worth the $150 million awarded by a jury.
Remi was killed in 2012 while riding in a booster seat in the back of the Grand Cherokee that was stopped and waiting to turn left.
The gas tank leaked and engulfed the Jeep in flames when the driver of a Dodge Dakota ran into the rear of the Grand Cherokee. Witnesses could only watch in horror as Remington burned to death.
Remi's family sued Fiat Chrysler (formerly Chrysler Group) accusing the automaker of manufacturing the Jeep with the gas tank behind the rear axle.
Documents presented in court showed that the Jeep Grand Cherokee that burned had a rear gas tank 11 inches from the back of the SUV and located 6 inches lower than the bottom of the Jeep.
The plaintiffs that argued Remington's death was completely preventable and that prior to the crash, Chrysler knew of 17 rear-impact crashes where Jeep gas tanks leaked.
The jury found that the automaker acted irresponsibly or wanton disregard for human life. The jury also found that the automakers failed its duty to warn customers about the dangers.
Fiat Chrysler was 99% at fault and the driver who struck the Jeep was 1% at fault for Remington's death, said jury.
The jury awarded $120 million as the value of Remington's full life and another $30 million for pain and suffering.
But Fiat Chrysler said the $150 million award is more than 11 times the largest award upheld on appeal, at least in the state of Georgia.
The automaker further argues that the jury wasn't thinking straight when it awarded the $150 million because the jury was blinded by its personal prejudices against the automaker.