CHARLESTON - State Farm Insurance Company is suing DaimlerChrysler Corporation over a 2004 incident in which a woman's Jeep slipped out of park and caused multiple damages.
In a lawsuit filed Feb. 17 in Kanawha Circuit Court, State Farm claims that Wendy Roleau's 1995 Jeep Wrangler, through no fault of her own, slipped out of parking gear and rolled over her, causing bodily injury.
"The subject property damage to plaintiff's insured's vehicle was proximately caused… by the failure of the gear system and by failure of the defendant to properly and safely design, manufacture, sell and otherwise distribute the aforesaid vehicle," the complaint states.
Also, the Jeep crashed into Roleau's neighbor's residence, causing property damages, State Farm says.
State Farm, which is represented by Michael R. Cline, is seeking the $53,456.24 that it has paid on behalf of Roleau to compensate the damages.
Though the car was nine years old at the time of the incident, State Farm suggests that doesn't matter.
"The automobile was in substantially the same condition existing when Defendant DaimlerChrysler Corporation manufactured it and remained substantially unchanged from the time of sale to Roleau until the time of the malfunction and ensuing property damage," the complaint states.
"The defendant was negligent in the construction and manufacture of the parking gear system and was negligent in placing such a defective device into the stream of commerce."
Circuit Judge Jennifer Bailey Walker has been assigned the case.
Kanawha Circuit Court case number 06-C-321