07/16/2010 // San Francisco, CA, USA // Mary Alexander // Mary Alexander
Santa Cruz, CA—(San Francisco wrongful death attorney news)The parents of two sisters killed in a tragic motor vehicle accident in 2004 were awarded $15 million after San Francisco-based Enterprise Rent-A-Car admitted negligence with regard to the fiery crash. While Enterprise reportedly contested the wrongful death lawsuit for five years, the company confessed in May that “their negligence was the sole proximate cause of the fatal injuries”. The case stemmed from the rental of a recalled vehicle. The recalled 2004 Chrysler PT Cruiser went without repairs and was rented out by Enterprise a total of four times, with the sisters being the last to lease the defective vehicle. In an initial attempt to keep the case confidential, Enterprise offered to pay the family $3 million. However, Carol “Cally” Houck, mother of the two victims, stated, “We didn’t want Enterprise to silence us… When you cause harm, you have to suffer the consequences of your actions.” An Alameda County jury awarded the plaintiffs damages on June 9, 2010, as reported by the Mercury News.
On October 7, 2004, sisters Raechel, 24, and Jacqueline Houck, 20, reported to Enterprise Rent-A-Car of San Francisco to temporarily lease the risky PT Cruiser. As the Santa Cruz sisters traveled along the northbound Highway 101, the vehicle reportedly veered across the grassy roadway median and into the path of a southbound semi-truck. The impact of the violent motor vehicle collision (MVC) sparked a blaze in the PT Cruiser. The Houck sisters succumbed to their traumatic injuries shortly after. The victims’ devastated parents, Carol and Chuck Houck, hired an attorney. That lawyer then arranged for experts to conduct an independent probe in an attempt to determine the true cause of the double-fatal wreck. Their investigation revealed the fact that Daimler Chrysler issued a safety recall of nearly 435,000 PT Cruisers a month prior to the accident. Model years reportedly ranged from 2002 to 2005, thus including the car rented out to the Houck sisters. The recall was announced after it was discovered that a power-steering fluid leak could pose risks including loss of steering ability and potential fire hazards.
Nonetheless, Mark Matias, manager of Enterprise’s Northern California area, formally declared he only found out about Daimler Chrysler’s recall after the crash. Matias also explained the rental car firm’s philosophy concerning recalled vehicles as follows: “You’ve got to keep booking, because you don’t know when you are going to get a car back. But then of course, you run short on vehicles, and if all you have are recalled vehicles on the lot, you rent them out. It was a given. The whole company did it.” Enterprise Rent-A-Car has 30 days to appeal the jury’s verdict.
Leading wrongful death lawyer Mary Alexander, states if you or a loved one has been injured or killed due to a defective vehicle, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and damages. With more than 25 years of experience litigating the multifaceted product liability, personal injury and wrongful death claims of accident victims and their families, contacting the adept trial firm of Mary Alexander & Associates may help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
San Francisco wrongful death lawyer news by California injury attorney
44 Montgomery Street, Suite 1303
San Francisco, CA 94104
Phone: (866) 802-9497
Address: 44 Montgomery St., San Francisco, CA
Phone: (866) 802-9497