Texas couple awarded $42 million damages in lawsuit over car accident injuries worsened by substandard repairs ordered by State Farm

by John Chapman

A Dallas, Texas couple has been awarded $42 million in damages in a lawsuit filed over a 2013 car accident. Matthew and Marcia Seebachan alleged in their lawsuit that sub-standard auto repair work performed by John Eagle Collision Center at the behest of State Farm Insurance caused them to suffer serious injuries as a result of the crash.

According to the lawsuit, the Seebachans owned a 2010 Honda Fit, which they purchased in 2013 after it had been repaired by the John Eagle Auto Group. The Seebachans alleged that during these repairs, John Eagle glued the vehicle’s roof to the car’s safety cage, rather than welding it as required by Honda’s safety manual.

Later that year, the Seebachans were involved in a car accident while driving the Honda Fit. The safety cage that had been glued onto their vehicle by John Eagle collapsed as a result of the crash. Both Matthew and Marcia Seebachan suffered serious and painful injuries from the accident, including third degree burns suffered by Matthew Seebachan. Matthew’s burn doctor said that the man would spend the rest of his life living with pain that was equivalent to being in childbirth.

The Seebachans alleged that the injuries they suffered in the accident were made more severe because of John Eagle’s failure to follow Honda’s safety requirements. A Dallas jury agreed, awarding the couple $42 million in total damages, including $14.3 million for pain and mental suffering, $7.5 million for disfigurement, $1.6 million for medical expenses, $7.1 million for physical impairment, and $1 million for lost earnings. An attorney for the Seebachans said that John Eagle had reached a settlement with the couple in exchange for dropping his right to appeal the verdict.

Lawsuit Against State Farm Over Forced Sub-Standard Repairs

Following the verdict, the Seebachans filed a second lawsuit in Texas federal court against State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance. According to this lawsuit, State Farm “forced” John Eagle to perform the sub-standard repairs on the couple’s vehicle in order to save money on the repair costs.

During the first trial, a corporate representative for John Eagle testified that insurance companies like State Farm dictate the repair work that is performed by the shop. The John Eagle representative admitted that the collision shop violated Honda’s repair standards so that it could be paid for the repair work performed on the Seebachans vehicle.

Following John Eagle’s settlement with the Seebachans, the car dealer agreed to work with the couple in order to improve safety requirements for the collision repair industry. An attorney for the Seebachans said that the couple hoped their lawsuit against State Farm would help prevent other insurance companies from bullying collision repair shops like John Eagle and putting the safety of drivers at risk in order to cut cost.

Vehicle Crashworthiness Lawsuits Filed by Heygood, Orr & Pearson

If you or a loved one have been seriously injured in a car accident, it may well be that the injuries were caused or made worse because the vehicle was not sufficiently crashworthy. In order to determine whether you may have a case, you need to retain experienced, qualified legal counsel at the earliest opportunity.

The lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson have the experience and knowledge to pursue a vehicle crashworthiness lawsuit against any major manufacturer. Our law firm has the financial resources to handle even the most complex crashworthiness case from beginning to end, and is ready and willing to take a case all the way to trial if that’s what it takes to force the auto companies and their insurers to take responsibility for their actions.

For a free legal consultation about your case and to determine whether you may be eligible to file a lawsuit, contact the car accident lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson to learn more about your legal rights. You can reach us by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001, or by following the link to our free legal consultation form and answering a few simple questions about your case.

by John Chapman

John Chapman is a licensed attorney with experience in complex commercial litigation (including securities fraud, RICO, shareholder oppression, and derivative actions) and personal injury litigation.