June 25, 2019 – Oakland, CA – A lawsuit filed in Alameda Superior Court claims a series of defects in the 2015 Tesla Model S led to a fiery crash and the death of a beloved husband and father.
On November 3, 2016, Kevin McCarthy was the passenger in his Model S driving in downtown Indianapolis, IN. After watching a World Series game, the driver of the car lost control due to an un-commanded acceleration defect in the Model S, and while attempting to avoid an oncoming vehicle headed the wrong way on the one-way street, drove off the right side of the paved roadway and into a tree. Witnesses observed that the vehicle came to rest against the wall of an adjacent parking structure and a fire subsequently ensued, engulfing the vehicle. Mr. McCarthy was observed alive postimpact attempting to escape the vehicle. However, due to defects in the vehicle, he was unable to do so, causing him to literally burn alive and to inhale toxic gases. After almost twenty minutes, he was pulled from the vehicle by Indianapolis Fire Department and transported to an area hospital where he died due to the injuries he suffered during the post-impact fire.
“Kevin was a loving husband and father, a successful businessman and a pillar in his community,” said attorney Elise Sanguinetti, current president of the American Association for Justice (AAJ) and past-president of Consumer Attorneys of California (CAOC). “He was killed because Tesla built and sold a car it knew was defective, and those known defects led to Kevin’s horrible, avoidable death.”
The wrongful death complaint lists several defects in the Tesla Model S, and states that the negligent and wrongful conduct of TESLA led to Kevin’s serious, catastrophic injuries, resulting in his death. Among the many defects listed in the complaint are:
As the complaint shows (on pages 22 and 24) this is not the only incident where a Tesla Model S caught fire and trapped occupants inside:
In fact, the complaint lists over 100 total instances from before and after the crash in regard to Tesla vehicles which burst into flames due to faulty batteries, suffered from un-commanded acceleration, had faulty door handles and/or some other defect.
The lawsuit alleges that the aforementioned defects created substantial dangers which were unknown to Kevin McCarthy and the public in general, and would not be recognized by the ordinary user, and Tesla failed to give adequate warning of such dangers.
The case is Stacey McCarthy v. Tesla, Alameda Superior Court.
To read the complaint: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1eND0qRS-ooa7r37FCRQY2P3ia-dAxOEf/view
With offices in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Montreal, ARIAS SANGUINETTI WANG & TORRIJOS, LLP represents clients in complex litigation in state and federal courts throughout the United States. Some of our practice areas include: Class Actions, Mass Torts, Major Personal Injury, Employment Law, Antitrust Litigation, Business & Commercial Litigation, Disability & Statutory Rights, Consumer Protection, Construction Defects, Disability Rights, Entertainment Litigation, Environmental/Toxic Torts, Professional Malpractice, Insurance Law, Telecommunications & Internet Litigation, Intellectual Property Rights and Unfair Business Practices. The firm also handles business transactional matters and has served as general business counsel.
Don concentrates his practice in the areas of products liability, aviation accidents, consumer class actions, and other complex litigation around the United States and occasionally in foreign countries. For his work in this area, he has received awards from the American Association for Justice, the Attorneys Information Exchange Group and the Western Trial Lawyers Association. He’s been listed in Best Lawyers in America for 18 consecutive years. Don participated in many of the recent large national auto product defect cases, including Toyota sudden acceleration, GM ignition switches, Takata airbags and VW diesel fraud. He has testified before the Federal Rules Committee on multiple occasions and made presentations at the annual Automated Vehicles Symposium for the past several years.
Click on the links below to view press coverage:
Indiana Lawyer: https://www.theindianalawyer.com/articles/50702-family-of-indy-legal-startup-founder-sues-tesla-over-fatal-2016-crash