Hyundai settles mid-trial with Myrtle Beach woman alleging injury caused by faulty Elantra seatback

Motley Rice LLC, one of the nation’s largest plaintiffs’ litigation firms, reached a settlement mid-trial on May 3, 2021 to resolve a claim filed against Hyundai by a Myrtle Beach woman alleging she suffered major injuries because the seatback in her 2009 Elantra collapsed in a routine rear-end collision in 2016.

The jury trial began April 26 in U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina, Florence Division. Hyundai Motor America, Inc., and Hyundai Motor Company were Defendants in the vehicle-defect suit and settled for an undisclosed sum. Motley Rice lawyers Kevin Dean and Lee Heath represented the woman and her husband, along with Myrtle Beach co-counsel Justin Lovely and Amy Lawrence of The Lovely Law Firm.

“Owners, drivers and their passengers should be able to trust that the manufacturers of their vehicles will test their products and assure they meet internal standards in the manufacturing process, and that their cars will keep them safe in accidents. They shouldn’t ever have to worry about an auto defect worsening their injuries,” said Motley Rice lawyer for the plaintiff, Kevin Dean. “We presented evidence over the first week of this trial that we believe proved that our client should have suffered only minor injury or whiplash. We believe our evidence also would have proven to the jury that her driver’s seatback collapsed, was faulty, and caused our client’s severe, life-threatening injuries and permanent damage. We are grateful that Hyundai thought it best to settle this case at this time, but no one should be put through the expense and stress of five years of litigation when a company seemingly knows their vehicle failed a customer. We were confident the jury would have also agreed with us.”

A Ford pickup rear-ended the Myrtle Beach woman while she was traveling northbound on Highway 501 in Conway, S.C., in a 2009 Hyundai Elantra on March 25, 2016. Her case alleged the woman was wearing her seatbelt at the time of the wreck but that because her driver’s seatback collapsed due to defects and undisclosed design changes, she suffered a compression fracture to her lumbar vertebra, orbital wall and floor fractures, optic nerve damage and intracranial bleeding, emotional distress and permanent scarring. She sued Hyundai claiming, among other things, negligence and failure to warn and sought punitive damages.

Motley Rice vehicle defect experience

Motley Rice attorneys have played a leading role in some of the largest and most significant litigations in recent years involving alleged vehicle defects.

Motley Rice represents or has settled more than three dozen claims made by personal injury victims alleging harm by Takata airbags in the U.S. and Malaysia, and was the first law firm to thoroughly investigate the airbag defect by disassembling airbag inflators found in junk yards. The firm also played a key role in helping negotiate a pair of Takata bankruptcy resolutions, achieving a favorable outcome for current and future victims in the wake of the largest automobile recall in history.

The firm is reviewing additional vehicle defects including defective seatbacks, exploding airbags, airbags that may fail to deploy in a wreck due to electrical issues, and other vehicle defects that cause unnecessary injuries and crashes. Learn more about Motley Rice’s vehicle defect experience.

About Motley Rice

Motley Rice LLC is one of the nation’s largest plaintiffs’ litigation firms. With a tradition of representing those whose rights have been violated, Motley Rice attorneys gained recognition for their pioneering asbestos lawsuits, their work with the State Attorneys General in the landmark litigation against Big Tobacco, and their representation of 9/11 families in the ongoing lawsuit against terrorist financiers. The firm continues to handle complex litigation in numerous areas, including vehicle defects; securities fraud; antitrust; consumer protection; mesothelioma; environmental contamination; prescription and over-the-counter drugs; other medical devices; human rights; aviation disasters; and wrongful death. Motley Rice is headquartered in Mt. Pleasant, S.C., and has additional offices in Connecticut; Washington, D.C.; New Jersey; New York; Pennsylvania; Missouri; Rhode Island; and West Virginia. For more information, contact Motley Rice attorney Kevin Dean (GA, MS, SC) at 1.800.768.4026 or visit Motley Rice LLC, a South Carolina Limited Liability Company, is engaged in the New Jersey practice of law through Motley Rice New Jersey LLC. Esther Berezofsky is the attorney responsible for New Jersey practice. Connect with us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter.