Lawsuit seeks damages in 1997 car accident

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 11, 2000

A lawsuit currently before the Butler County Circuit Court is seeking compensatory and punative damages against the General Motors Corporation stemming from an automobile accident that occurred on June 7, 1997 in the Shackleville community where Highways 38 and 15 join.

The plaintiff, Ann L. Hanks, who was 16 years old at the time, was driving a 1991 Pontiac Sunbird when she was involved in an accident while reportedly traveling approximately 15-20 miles per hour.

Attorney for the plaintiff, Jere Beasley of Montgomery, contends that Hanks' seat back collapsed and her vehicle's restrain system failed resulting in permanent paralysis from her mid-section down.

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Beasley further contends the failures of the vehicle's seat and restrain system were the result of a defect in smaller GM cars that the corporation was aware of and did nothing to correct.

Beasley said Hanks life-care plan will cost more than $1 million, which he will seek to recover in court. He will also be seeking damages for pain and suffering. Beasley said the plaintiff will also be seeking punative damages against GM for an undisclosed amount.

The attorneys representing

General Motors are Kyle H. Dreyer of Hartline, Dacus, Dreyer and Kern of Texas, and Bud Kirk and Craig Niedenthal of Rymberger, Kirk and Caldwell, also of Texas. They say General Motors' official policy is not to comment on any litigation until its outcome is determined.

The case is expected to last well into next week.