DALLAS, July 24, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- A Dallas couple suffered crushing injuries in a car accident because John Eagle Collision Center allegedly cut insurance costs by using glue instead of welding a car's metal structure together according to a defective repair lawsuit against the Dallas auto body shop .
33-year old Matthew Seebachan and his 29-year old wife Marcia were trapped inside their used 2010 Honda Fit when the glued roof caused the car's structure to catastrophically collapse and catch fire in a car accident.
In pretrial testimony, Boyce Willis, the body shop director at John Eagle Collision Center in Dallas, admitted that the company ignored Honda's repair specifications. John Eagle Collision Center glued on a new metal roof to repair hail damage when Honda specified that the metal roof should be welded together according to evidence filed in the lawsuit.
"John Eagle Collision Center, by covering up its arrogant repair of using glue rather than following the manufacturer's body repair specifications and using welds just like Honda had done when they designed, developed, and tested the vehicle, created a time bomb that was waiting to explode," says vehicle safety lawyer Todd Tracy of the Tracy Law Firm in Dallas who represents the victims.
In December 2013, the Seebachans were on their way to spend Christmas with her grandmother in the Texas Hill Country. The driver of a Toyota Tundra pickup truck hydroplaned into the path of their car.
Because the Honda Fit's metal roof had been glued on by John Eagle Collision Center and not welded as specified by Honda, the collision set off a domino effect of structural failures according to expert testimony in the lawsuit. The defective roof repair caused the car's safety cage to collapse and the fuel tank located below the driver's seat to rupture.
Trapped behind the steering wheel, Matthew Seebachan remained conscious as flames fried his feet and lower legs before he was pulled from the wreckage by a motorist. Another motorist rescued his wife Marcia through the passenger window of the mangled car.
Automotive and biomechanical engineers in the case analyzed the Seebachans' wrecked Honda Fit at The Tracy Law Firm's Dallas Crash Lab. They concluded that had the roof been properly welded by John Eagle Collision Center as specified by Honda's body repair manual, the Seebachans would likely have had only minor injuries.
"John Eagle Collision Center repairs almost 5,000 vehicles a year in Dallas alone not counting their Houston Collision Center. It is a billion dollar a year Texas car dealer giant that apparently is not following the manufacturer's repair recommendations. In this case, the insurance company paid John Eagle $8500 to make a repair that was not up to manufacturer standards. Is every vehicle that leaves a John Eagle Collision Center in Dallas or Houston a ticking time bomb waiting to kill or maim," said Tracy.
The Seebachans bought the used 2010 Honda Fit from Huffines Kia in Denton four months before the crash. The CARFAX report presented to the Seebachans at the time of their purchase did not disclose the roof repair.
Tracy stated, "There was no way the Seebachans or anyone from Huffines Kia could see that the roof was glued rather than being welded because paint and shiny trim covered up a time bomb. The testimony and facts in this defective repair lawsuit clearly show that John Eagle Collision Center used glue instead of the more expensive welding because it cares more about getting paid by the insurance company than they care about putting a vehicle out there on the road that's safe and reliable."
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the Honda Fit a "Top Safety Pick" after conducting crash tests. Those tests nearly duplicate the Seebachans' collision and show that they should not have suffered severe injuries. None of the three occupants, including an infant, riding in the Toyota Tundra pickup were injured.
News Conference - Tuesday July 25, 2017 - 3:00PM to 4:30PM
Todd Tracy & the Seebachans will be available for interviews.
The Tracy Law Firm
4701 Bengal St.
Dallas TX 75235
Cause No. DC-15-09782
192nd Judicial District Court
Dallas County, Texas
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SOURCE Tracy Law Firm