FCA seeking new trial in Jeep fire case, calls $150M judgement 'grossly excessive'
The Detroit Free Press reports that FCA would be forced to pay $120 million over the death of young Remington Walden, with an extra $30 million being paid to the boy's family. Neither figure sits well with the automaker, though, which called the fine "grossly excessive," and claimed it was in violation of Georgia state law. The judgment stems from FCA's long-running problem with the fuel tanks of certain Jeep models built in the 1990s and 2000s.
According to the newspaper, FCA argues that the jury was biased after the Waldens' attorneys played on the their passions and pushed for a big award, saying the wrongful death award was 11 times more than any appeals court has ever upheld. FCA said attorneys for the plaintiffs told the jury to base the settlement on Sergio Marchionne's total compensation, $68 million. FCA also claims in its motion that the young boy's suffering was brief.
"A $30-million pain-and-suffering award for what plaintiffs acknowledge was at most one minute of suffering is irrational," the motion, which was obtained by The Detroit Free Press, read. "Where such plainly improper arguments are immediately followed by irrational and stunningly excessive damage awards, there can be no doubt that the jury acted from passion and prejudice."
Jim Butler, the attorney for the Waldens, has called the motion "nonsense," although he said the family will accept whatever figure the judge sets.
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