June 20, 2016 — A federal jury in Texas has awarded $34 million to the family of a 4 year-old boy who was paralyzed after a car accident.
Nicole Hinson sued Dorel Juvenile Group for failing to warn about the risks of putting children under two years old in forward-facing car seats.
The boy was sitting in Dorel’s Safety 1st Summit car seat.
In 2013, the Hinsons’ car was struck by a Chevrolet Suburban that crossed the center line. The boy suffered severe injuries to his spinal cord, head, and face, which left him with a brain injury. The boy is partially paralyzed and will likely never walk.
The jury awarded $4 million for future physical pain and suffering, $1.2 million for loss of earning capacity, $3 million for future disfigurement, $3 million for future physical impairment, and $12.8 million for medical expenses.
The driver of the other car was found 20% responsible for the injuries.
In 2014, the family also filed a separate lawsuit against Wal-Mart for putting two new tires on the front of the Suburban and leaving worn tires on the rear. The Hinsons say that caused the driver of the Suburban to lose control and hydroplane into them.
In 2011, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommended that parents should keep toddlers in rear-facing car seats until age 2, or until they reach the maximum height and weight for their seat.
This was an update from older recommendations that advised front-facing car seats when the child was 12 months old. Children under 2-3 years old simply are not strong enough to withstand car crashes without the extra protection that a rear-facing seat provides.
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