Jury Rules AGAINST Elon Musk’s Company… It’s Over
(UnitedVoice.com) – A jury has ordered electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla to hand over $10.5 million to the parents of a teenager who died in a fiery car accident. The massive award comes despite the teen’s history of terrible driving and the fact he was doing over four times the speed limit when he died.
— Gadgets 360 (@Gadgets360) July 21, 2022
In May 2018, 18-year-old Barrett Riley and one of his friends died in the blazing wreckage of his Tesla Model S sports car after colliding with a concrete wall. On July 18, a Fort Lauderdale, Florida, jury found the car company just 1% liable for his death — then awarded $10.5 million in damages to his parents anyway. The jury gave father James Riley $4.5 million despite finding him 9% negligent regarding the accident.
The jurors also found that Barrett Riley himself was 90% to blame for his death. When he hit the wall, he was driving at 116 mph around a curve with a posted 25 mph speed limit. It wasn’t the first time he’d been in trouble for speeding, either; just two months earlier, police cited him for driving at 112 mph. After that incident, his parents had a speed limiter fitted to the car, restricting it to 85 mph — but Barrett contacted Tesla and tricked a technician into deactivating it.
There’s no doubt their son’s death traumatized James and Jenny Riley, but they gave a teenager a car capable of speeds up to 130 mph and let him keep it even after he’d shown they couldn’t trust him to drive it safely. Tesla argued the Reillys should have taken the keys from their son after his speeding citation. Is it fair to award people damages against a company when the victim’s own decisions caused the accident?
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