Florida Injury Law On Defective Brakes And Brake Failures
Updated : 11/9/20
Summary Of All Florida Case Law About Car Brakes Where Someone Was Injured.
When person is injured in a car accident in Florida due to faulty brakes ( whether due to improper initiation, care, or related to a defective product like the automatic emergency braking system or pads ) respective parties can be held accountable for a victim ’ randomness injuries. The list of responsible parties can include the car manufacturer, the seller, the parts manufacturer, angstrom well as those who have performed the repairs or maintenance on the vehicle.
Quick Tip: The Average Product Liability Settlement In Florida Is $100,000.00 (Details)
Below are summaries of Florida ’ s case law on defective brakes and the failure of a vehicle’s braking system to operate by rights. The respect of reading these cases is that they outline some of the most important issues for plaintiffs to focus on when pursuing a claim, whether their claims are based upon negligence, hard-and-fast indebtedness or any other tort related lawsuit of natural process .
Note: it is outside the setting of this article to discuss case common law involving claims under chapter 681 of the Florida Statutes, known as Florida ’ s Lemon Law ( which relates to the repair, replacement and refund of a bad car ), and/or under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act ( the Federal Lemon Law ) .
5 Florida Lawsuits Which Outline The Issues With Personal Injury Claims Based Upon Defective Brakes
Dr. Bernard Cohen was only trying to help when he was seriously injured by a 1978 Cadillac rolling over his leg. Dr. Cohen had come to the aid of the Cadillac ’ south owner, and as a Cadillac owner himself, he knew that the brake ’ s manual release pry was under the smash .
When the Good Samaritan approached the Cadillac to help, the car was running. The driver told Dr. Cohen the gearing shift was in “ park. ” This was improper : it was in “ reverse. ” When Dr. Cohen released the manual park bracken, the car rolled backward and over his leg, causing dangerous injury .
then, Dr. Cohen sued Cadillac for his personal injury damages. His lawsuit was based upon ( 1 ) rigid liability ; ( 2 ) implied guarantee ; ( 3 ) gap of entail guarantee of reasonable fitness for consumption, and ( 4 ) negligence. He lost .
Both the test pronounce and the appellate court held that flush if the Cadillac ’ s automatic brake free failed to work, the proximate campaign of injuries sustained by Dr. Cohen was not the failure of the car ’ s automatic rifle brake release, but his own use of the properly functioning manual brake liberation .
Both courts found that the plaintiff failed to prove the necessity proximate causing for his hard-and-fast liability and incriminate guarantee claims. He besides failed to establish in tell that there was any negligence in failing to advise him to place the vehicle in parking lot, or to utilize the footbrake when manually disengaging the emergency brake because it was obvious that there was risk in manually releasing the emergency brake since the car engine was running and Dr. Cohen could have well seen the gear was not in park. Meaning, what gear the car was in at the time was “ obvious. ”
several years back, Andrew Masker bought a use 1957 automobile from Richey ’ south Used Cars. The test drive went well and so did the “ as is ” sale. Mr. Masker drove his car off the fortune without a problem. however, 11 days after the purchase, the brakes on the car failed as Mr. Masker approached a stop sign .
Since he could not stop the car, Mr. Masker went past the break bless and into the intersection, where he collided with another cable car. Andrew Masker sued the owner of the use car lot for his personal injuries suffered in the barge in .
He asserted claims that ( 1 ) the car principal had negligently fixed the brakes before he sold the cable car to the plaintiff ; and that ( 2 ) there was a breach of an incriminate guarantee of seaworthiness angstrom well as ( 3 ) rigid indebtedness because the defendant had created an excessive risk of damage by placing the car into the marketplace with a defective brake organization .
To support his position, Mr. Masker introduced the testimony of the prior owner of the car, John Young. Mr. Young testified that he had owned the car for five years. He could not recall having any make done on the brakes, but that did not mean the brakes had never been repaired or maintained, he good had no remembrance or software documentation of any brake solve. Mr. Young ’ s testimony was supported by the testimony of his car automobile mechanic .
Mr. Masker besides hired an accident reconstruction technical to analyze the crash. This adept testified he had torn the car ’ s brake organization down to find an earlier brake repair involving an improperly installed O-ring in a rack cylinder. This mistake, the reconstruction technical explained, had allowed brake fluent to leak and the brakes to fail .
The trial evaluator ruled against Mr. Masker. The appellate court then found that it was an “ ineluctable conclusion. ” Meaning, this was a latent defect ( hidden ) in the car ’ s brake arrangement which the use car trader would not be able to discover unless he had taken the stallion brake system apart, as the reconstruction adept had done during his investigation .
It did not matter that Mr. Young, the anterior owner, could not remember if any work had been done on the car ’ s brakes. This did not create any offspring of fact regarding repairs done by the secondhand car principal .
Both the trial judge and the appellate woo found that the defendant, the exploited car dealer, was not apt for ( 1 ) transgress of guarantee because of brake failure of cable car purchased “ as is, ” and ( 2 ) stern indebtedness did not extend to the dealer for latent defects for which he was not creditworthy and which he could not have discovered by the drill of reasonable manage .
thus, the cable car principal was not negligent in failing to discover the defective brakes and was not liable for injuries suffered by his use car buyer when the brakes failed .
Hyman Lash started off one Florida dawn by driving to his area club in New Smyrna Beach to play golf. Mr. Lash got a club golf cart and drove off to the first tee. Seeing some friends, he stopped and parked the golf handcart on an slope and set the brake .
When Mr. Lash got out of the golf cart the cart rolled backward pinning him between the cart and a park cable car .
Mr. Lash suffered bodily injuries as a solution of the accident. He then sued the manufacturer, Club Car, Inc., a well as Noland Golf Cart Service, and Dale Noland, individually, for negligence .
The alone testimony presented by Mr. Lash in support of his call came from the area baseball club ’ s golf master. He had checked out the golf haul after the accident and stated :
“ I found the brakes on that particular cart, only one time in respective tests, released itself, being depressed lone a one-third of the way. When the brake was in the in full lower position, then it would hold adequately. ”
Mr. Lash lost at trial when the defendants requested a “ directed verdict ” at the close of the plaintiff ’ randomness casing and it was granted by the trial judge. Lash appealed the judge ’ s decision, seeking a return key of the shell to the trial woo so the jury could make the decisiveness .
On appeal, he pointed to the club golf pro ’ mho confirmation that there had been former complaints about the handcart ’ south brakes. The testify was well-defined there was anterior cognition that the haul had brake problems .
however, Hyman Lash did not pay for a testify expert to opine on the cart ’ s brake defects ; the defendants did. The defensive structure technical testified that the brake organization plan was far superior to that used in other golf carts .
so, Mr. Lash lost on entreaty. The reviewing court found that there was “ no allegation, nor any proof, of negligence. ” It was not enough to show that the brakes failed and the cart pinned him to the car. “ That the accident happened is not sufficient, ” explained the court .
Lee Holman was company president of the united states and one of his company perk up was a caller car. Mr. Holman drove a 1966 Thunderbird and after about a year of driving the company T-Bird, he noticed the brakes were not working as they should .
so, Mr. Holman took the car to Duval Motor Company, an empower Ford franchise. This was the lapp franchise where he routinely took the party cable car in for servicing, and where the Thunderbird had been purchased for him .
The franchise determined the car needed a newly power brakes booster system or unit. The part was ordered from Ford Motor Company in Detroit, and then installed by Duval .
This brake part, the “ supporter unit ” was sealed upon arrival at Duval. It is a collected device. The device is installed on the master brake cylinder on the advancing side of the firewall. It is linked to the brake foot bicycle on one side and linked by a rod to the victor bracken cylinder on the other .
The function of this supporter unit is to give a baron aid to the hydraulic brake system. It does this via a vacuum system within the whole, the initial vacuum being supplied by a hookup between the promoter and engine .
At test, Duval ’ randomness witnesses testified this booster unit arrived as a check unit, and that no one at the franchise was allowed to alter or change its inner workings. If a promoter unit failed, they did not try and fix it ; rather they replaced the entire function. This was the operation followed when the franchise worked on Mr. Holman ’ south Thunderbird : they replaced the whole without trying to repair the master .
After the successor was installed, two franchise employees took the cable car for a road test. During this quiz, the brakes seemed ticket. The franchise called Mr. Holman to let him know his Thunderbird was fix for pick up .
Lee Holman arrived to the Duval franchise and took possession of the Thunderbird. Within minutes and precisely a few blocks of the franchise, Mr. Holman ’ s brakes failed in the center of downtown Jacksonville traffic .
Acting quickly to avoid hitting several pedestrians, Mr. Holman veered into a parked car in order to stop the T-Bird. He then sued both the car manufacturer, Ford Motor Company and the franchise, Duval Motor Company, as an authoritative Ford dealer .
He alleged each defendant was liable based upon ( 1 ) negligence and ( 2 ) gap of imply guarantee.
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At trial, each defendant pointed fingers at the other. Both defendants recognized that Mr. Holman had suffered an wound, for which at least one of them was legally liable on one or more of his legal theories .
Ford argued that the brake failure resulted entirely from the faulty installation by Duval ’ south mechanics. Duval argued that brake failure was a target result of a defective part in the sealed booster unit furnished by Ford .
Ford besides presented technical witnesses that testified if a part called a “ tailstock ” within the T-Bird ’ s sealed booster unit was broken, the entirely leave would be a personnel casualty of the whole ’ sulfur baron aid. The car ’ south basic, non-power brake system would inactive work .
right before the character went to the jury, there was some legal steer regarding withdrawals and amendments of motions, and the end leave was that the font was submitted to the jury against Ford alone on both the counts of ( 1 ) negligence and ( 2 ) implied guarantee .
On solicitation, the District Court of Appeal held that there was no evidence, aim or indirect, of a bad power brake booster whole that allegedly caused the plaintiff ’ s car accident. Nor was there any tell that the booster unit was installed by the dealer in any strange or improper method acting .
consequently, the appellate court held when the evidence was conflicting regarding the brake failure or subject to different inferences as to what caused it, the subject must go to the jury for its consideration. The conclusion that negligence is the most probable explanation of the accident or wound, is not for the test court pronounce to make .
american samoa long as the plaintiff, Mr. Holman, provides sufficient testify to permit the jury to draw the inference of negligence, the character must go to the jury, so the jurors can decide, as reasonable men may differ as to the balance of probabilities. The case was returned for a jury test .
Edward and Laura Rawls were driving along, with Laura at the bicycle, when Laura began slowing down to a red light. traffic was heavy. Behind the Rawls ’ vehicle came driver Paul Ziegler. He testified he was about two car lengths behind the Rawls, in the lapp traffic lane, when she slowed down and stopped. He was driving between 20 to 30 miles per hour at the time .
Paul Ziegler was driving a two-ton dump truck with a Chevrolet chassis and a five-yard dump body. A month earlier, the truck had been purchased by his founder J.H. Ziegler from Luby Chevrolet Co., who had paid Cecil & Bruce Truck Equipment Co to mount the consistency of the hand truck on the chassis .
The truck carried a full six-yard cargo of gravel. It was undisputed that the hand truck was overloaded according to the manufacturer ’ south recommendation in its Chevrolet Data Book, which recommended only a two and one-half or three-yard dump torso for the haul of coal, sand and gravel. additionally, its Truck Operator ’ s Manual had the recommended crude vehicular weight as 16,000 pounds, a transcript of which was given to Mr. Ziegler when he bought the truck .
According to Mr. Ziegler, he hit the brakes on his truck. Something was foreign : he was not able to depress the brake bicycle. He could not stop the truck in time to prevent rear-ending the Rawls ’ fomite, so he swerved. While he succeeded in avoiding a wide head-on collision with their car, he did not clear it .
Ziegler ’ s truck sideswiped the Rawls ’ fomite on its leave english. As for the Rawls ’ cable car, accident view photograph revealed a large hole in their top-left fender and extensive damage to their leave rear door .
The dump hand truck fell apart in the crash. The buttocks end of the truck came off the truck torso, with the rise axle, the rear wheels and their springs photographed several feet behind the hand truck itself .
evidence at trial confirmed that the rear end was attached to the truck body by the bounce hangers at each end of the two back springs. The four rivets holding each spring hanger to the ensnare had been sheared off, even with the inning on the two bounce hangers on the right slope .
On the forget, the left front spring hanger had broken, leaving a small fortune calm attached to the frame by the two bottom rivets ; the left rear spring hanger was inactive attached to the human body, the rivets integral .
Mrs. Rawls was badly injured in the collision, as she was shoved by its impact into the steering wheel. The pair then filed a personal injury lawsuit .
Their lawsuit claimed :
( 1 ) Paul Ziegler negligently operated the truck so that it collided with the plaintiff ’ mho car while it was stopped for a crimson light at an intersection ;
( 2 ) Luby was negligent in ( a ) locate upon the chassis of the truck a body reasonably calculated to carry a cargo in overindulgence of that for which the truck was designed, and ( barn ) in fabrication, deal, and designing a truck that was not in a reasonably safe mechanical circumstance for use upon a populace highway ; and
( 3 ) Cecil & Bruce was negligent in ( a ) put upon the human body of the truck a body sanely calculated to carry a warhead in excess of that for which the truck was designed and ( b-complex vitamin ) placing upon the chassis a body in such a manner that the truck became a risk and hazard to persons using the public streets .
At trial, J.H. Ziegler stated that he bought the truck from a salesman of Luby. He specified he wanted to buy a two-ton human body with a five-yard shit body mounted on it, and he would be using it to haul fill. The salesman told him this truck “ would do the job. ” Mr. Ziegler requested the springs to be built up “ to carry the load, ” and five extra leaves were added. early extras purchased by Mr. Ziegler were larger tires, a two-speed axle, and a vacuum brake booster .
Mr. Ziegler dealt only with Luby. He was billed by Luby and paid Luby for the completed truck. Luby ’ s salesman did not advise him as to how much of a cargo he would carry in the truck. Luby ’ s salesperson did not warn him against overloading .
After the buy, Mr. Ziegler himself added a six- or eight-inch control panel to the dump body so that the five-yard torso would hold six yards .
It was accustomed in the area to put a five-yard dump body on a two-ton human body. Cecil & Bruce testified they had mounted 30 or 40 bodies on two-ton rated chassis in the past year. The “ greater majority ” of these were five-yard bodies .
The owner who had hired Paul Ziegler to haul the fill confirmed this was a accustomed, standard rehearse in the sphere. He testified “ It is about a standard rehearse for a man buying a two-ton truck to put a four-yard body on it and build it up to haul six yards and some will request putting a smaller torso on if they are a little short-change on funds and build it up late higher by sideboards to haul six…. but they all want to haul six yards on a two [ long ton ] truck. ”
The Court found it was clear by the attest that overloading of the hand truck helped to cause the crash. however, no evidence was presented that Luby could reasonably have envision that Ziegler or his sons would operate the hand truck in an overload condition .
evidence was provided that the clog of the deck hand truck on the built-up springs could not reasonably be found to be the sole campaign of the accident. Concurring causes besides included brake failure. The possible failure of truck driver Paul Zeigler to operate the brakes by rights at what might have been an excessive rush in the circumstances ; and some exceeding force applied to the rivets, such as the sudden swerve of the hand truck or its impact with the plaintiffs ’ car .
According to the Florida Supreme Court, “ regardless of whether the jury may subsequently exonerate Paul Ziegler of negligence ( as to which we express no opinion ), the fact remains that, superimposed upon the negligence, if any, of Luby, were independent interview forces without which the accident would not have occurred .
“ These hazards might have been foreseen by Luby as distant possibilities ; but we have found no case, and none has been cited, holding that a manufacturer or supplier, or any other defendant, must “ pay off ” for bankruptcy to foresee a outside eventuality. ”
In total, where an independent pull or act intervenes to bring about a result that the defendant ’ south negligence would not otherwise have produced, it is generally held that the defendant is apt entirely where the intervene force out or act was reasonably foreseeable .
PLEASE NOTE: Rawls was distinguished by Dorse v. Armstrong World Industries, Inc., 513 So. 2d 1265 ( Fla. 1987 ). There, the Florida Supreme Court advises that a ship’s company must prove that it provided timely warnings of every sanely known material risk built-in in its product ’ randomness proposed specifications, and every sanely known substantial alternative for avoiding or reducing such risks. Risks and alternatives are “ sanely known ” if they are “ either actually known, or reasonably ought to be known given good design practice in the industry. ”
What Do These Cases Tell A Victim ?
These brake failure cases make it clear that an injury victim must prove, using credible admissible evidence, all elements of negligence to prevail with a claim. besides, these cases show how defense attorneys will use the rules of civil routine, by filing Motions for Directed Verdict ( at test ) and Motions for Summary Judgment ( before the trial begins ), to get a judgment entered in favor of their customer .
furthermore, barely because it is easy for a plaintiff to recite the elements of negligence doesn ’ thyroxine make it easy to prove these types of negligence claims. however, one way to do so is through adept analysis and technical testimony ( see Holman, Lash, Masker ). Knowing which experts to hire, and how to prepare them for trial, can mean the difference between winning and losing a case .
For more on the elements of a negligence claim, read : negligence Lawsuits in Florida .
What Should You Do ?
A thoroughly man of advice if you or a sleep together one are injured in a car accident caused by defective or defective brakes, is to speak with an feel personal injury trial lawyer to learn about the type of attest needed to prove a title and how most indemnity companies respond to these claims. Most personal injury lawyers, like Alan Sackrin, will offer a barren initial consultation ( over the call or in-person ) to answer a victim ’ mho questions and to plowshare what they know about defective brake claims .
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Do you have questions or comments ? then please feel free to send Alan an electronic mail or call him nowadays at ( 954 ) 458-8655 .
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