Eight-year-old boy sustained serious spinal injuries resulting in paraplegia from a rear seat lap belt installed as original equipment in his mother’s car. The boy was seated in the right seating position of the middle bench seat of his mother’s car. Prior to impact, he was sitting straight up in his seat, wearing the lap-only seatbelt provided by the car manufacturer. The boy was not mispositioned in any way. At the moment, another vehicle crossed the center line and struck the front of the boy’s mother’s car. The boy sustained a spinal cord injury that was directly attributable to the lap-only seatbelt provided by the car manufacturer.
At the time this vehicle was manufactured and sold, the car manufacturer was aware that lap-only seatbelt restraints were unreasonably dangerous and defective. The car manufacturer had also been aware for decades of the safety advantages of three point belts over lap-only seatbelts.