How Safe Is Your Collision Repair Business From a $42 Million Damage Verdict?
SEMA 2017: October 31 – November 3
Vehicle Safety Lawyer Todd Tracy reveals the inside story of how a Texas jury reached a $42 Million damage verdict for defective auto body repair at SEMA 2017.
The Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) added a new event titled “The Anatomy of a Lawsuit: The Crucial Details of the $42 Million Verdict” to help educate the collision repair industry on the critical importance of following Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Standards.
The landmark case found a Dallas based collision repair center liable for using glue instead of welds to replace a hail damaged roof on a 2010 Honda Fit. The unsuspecting buyers of the preowned vehicle were not told that it had undergone major roof repair. Three weeks after their purchase, Matthew and Marcia Seebachan were crushed and Matthew was trapped inside the burning Honda when a Honda Tundra hydroplaned into their lane.
The jury found that the collision center violated Honda’s OEM repair standards and that the glued roof caused a chain reaction failure of the vehicle’s safety cage. It was an accident that the young couple should have walked away from. The jury assigned 75% of the blame to the collision center.
The defense argued that the collision center made a business decision to use glue and that its certified welding techs were more qualified than automotive engineers to make that decision. Following the trial, the jury said that the collision center made the wrong business decision to use glue and needed to be held financially responsible.
Collision Industry Repair Standards Critical To Crashworthiness
Tracy who has tried more than 2700 crashworthiness lawsuits against vehicle manufacturers for safety failures and defects, points out that automotive technology has dramatically changed during the past decade. Safety systems such as airbag sensors and seats receive hidden damage in accidents and must be replaced in order to protect occupants in the event of an accident in the future. His presentation will show real life examples from his crash lab that insurance adjusters will miss.
The men and women of the collision repair industry are on the front lines of a battle against insurance companies that try to bully them into using substandard parts and into making shoddy repairs. Tracy will explain why he believes these small businesses should be immune from liability if they follow OEM.
His presentation will help the industry protect their customers and avoid becoming a target of a major lawsuit that can destroy their business and an accident that destroys their customer’s life.
Todd will be available after the presentation to discuss the case with attendees.
SEMA 2017 Presentation
He will also speak Thursday on the panel: