Poca woman says Ford to blame for defective airbag

By Chris Dickerson | Feb 15, 2006

WINFIELD – A Poca woman says Ford Motor Company should have known about a defective air bag that contributed to her injuries in a 2004 auto accident.

Susan V. McBride filed the lawsuit Feb. 8 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

In the suit, McBride says she owned a 2002 Mercury Cougar, which she bought new, on May 1. 2004, when she was driving eastbound on Interstate 64 near Scott Depot in Putnam County.

"Her vehicle left the traveled portion of the roadway and impacted with a concrete barrier near the berm portion of the highway with such force as to cause the driver and passenger side front seat air bags, with which the automobile had come factory equipped, to activate," the suit says.

"The steering wheel mounted driver's side air bag … was defective. It didn't fully deploy and the accelerant designed to fully deploy the air bag was not completely dissipated by ignition and combustion."

As a result, the suit says McBride suffered chemical burns from the air bag accelerant. And that, the suit says, has resulted in her developing complex regional pain syndrome II, "a severe peripheral nerve injury" that has partially disabled her from work and required her to incur medical expenses of more than $100,000.

McBride, who is represented by Nitro attorney Harvey D. Peyton, says she also has suffered severe physical injuries that are permanent. She also says she has suffered scarring, disfigurement, pain and suffering, mental anguish, emotional upset and loss of enjoyment of life, annoyance, aggravation and inconvenience.

In addition, she says her medical expenses will continue in the future, as will her pain and suffering, mental anguish, annoyance, aggravation and inconvenience.

McBride claims she has lost earnings so far of more than $30,000, and she says the diminution of her earning capacity and her ability to earn money will continue in the future.

She seeks compensatory damages as well as interest, court costs, attorney fees and other relief.

She requests a jury trial.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Ed Eagloski.

Case number: 06-C-43

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