One aspect of wrongful death suits that is not as prevalent as others are burn injuries and deaths. This case recently reported, is becoming a little more common as a Florida man died in a burning Tesla.
Tesla owner Omar Awan was driving his dream car when he lost control. His blue Model S Tesla careened across a road in South Florida and slammed into a palm tree.
Family lawyers say that it wasn’t the crash that killed him. They argue that it was the car’s futuristic design features.
What Happened to Awan
They say that the last moments of Awan’s life were gruesome and excruciating. After the crash, Tesla’s lithium-ion battery caught fire. Smoke and flames filled the car, suffocating Awan and burning him from his feet up. On the outside of the car, a crowd gathered, but nobody was able to help.
They couldn’t help because the car’s retractable door handles, which are supposed to “auto-present” when they detect a key fob nearby, malfunctioned and first responders weren’t able to open the doors and save Awan, says the lawsuit.
“The fire engulfed the car and burned Dr. Awan beyond recognition – all because the Model S has inaccessible door handles, no other way to open the doors, and an unreasonably dangerous fire risk,” the complaint reads. “These Model S defects and others rendered it a death trap,” the suit says.
The 48-year-old Awan leased the Model S for two reasons, noted the family’s attorney. He was environmentally sensitive and safety conscious. Tesla claimed that the Model S once achieved “the best safety rating of any car tested.”
The attorney stated that Awan, who could have afforded a Mercedes or another luxury vehicle, went with the 2016 Tesla, and it killed him.
Tesla’s public relations team did not respond to a request for comment on the lawsuit that was filed in October. The company’s lawyers have yet to respond in court. But shortly after the February crash, a Tesla spokeswoman stated, “We are deeply saddened by this accident” but that “Tesla vehicles are engineered to be the safest cars in the world and Tesla drivers have driven more than 10 billion miles to date.”
Awan’s death is one in a string of recent incidents that has been blamed on Tesla’s innovative technology. In Awan’s case and in other crashes, the carmaker has argued that high-speed crashes can result in fires whether the car is powered by gasoline or batteries. But attorneys argue that Awan survived the collision, and he could have escaped the smoke and fire too if only the police officer who arrived on the scene could have opened the car’s doors.
The lawsuit asserts that the fancy features rendered the car “defective” and “dangerous”.
The autopsy report lists Awan’s cause of death as “inhalation of products of combustion with a contributory cause of death of thermal injuries.” The medical examiner who responded to the crash wrote that Awan “was not identifiable on scene.” His clothes and hair were burned and a yellow metal ring was found on his left ring finger.
After the crash, and after firefighters extinguished the blaze, Awan’s Tesla was transported to a tow yard. Once there, it reignited and burned again.
We at The Inserra Law Firm have not had many cases involving Tesla Motors. However, if you need a quality attorney to represent you or a loved one in a similar situation, then please look to set up a FREE consultation at the law office in Hollywood. Don’t forget that Attorney Inserra specializes in: auto accidents, Uber & Lyft accidents, motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, bicycle accidents, boat accidents, slip & falls, pedestrian accidents, wrongful death, burn injuries & head & traumatic brain injuries.