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$4.2 Million Awarded in Nissan Roof-Strength Lawsuit

March 21, 2013

This week, a jury in Essex County, New Jersey, awarded $4.2 million to a Nissan Altima owner who suffered serious injuries when a tire fell from a pickup truck, crushing the roof of his vehicle.

The damages were awarded to 52-year-old Larry Clanton, who was driving his Nissan Altima in July 2006 when a 73-pound tire struck the roof of his car, causing severe injuries. According to court documents, Clanton had to re-learn how to walk after the accident and must undergo daily physical therapy.

The Plaintiff’s attorney argued that the header panel used to form the front of the roof is designed differently in the Altima than it is in most other cars on the market.

The faulty design caused the roof to split open upon impact with the tire, causing the injuries Clanton suffered to be more serious than they would have been if he had been driving any vehicle besides an Altima, his lawsuit claimed.

Attorneys for Nissan disagreed, arguing that any roof would have crushed given the same set of circumstances, regardless of design.

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