CHARLESTON - A Kanawha County couple is claiming negligence on the part of four defendants as the reason for their son's death in a December accident.

Gary Adkins Sr. and Sherry Adkins blame Nissan Motor Company, Nissan North America, NSK and Courts Motors for the fatal nature of the accident in a lawsuit filed Feb. 22 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Gary Adkins Jr. was driving Dec. 14 on Dairy Road in West Hamlin in Lincoln County when he was involved in a head-on collision with another vehicle.

"Upon impact, the driver's airbag failed to deploy," the complaint says. "Despite the fact that Gary Adkins Jr. was wearing his seat belt, he incurred fatal injuries when the vehicle's restraints, airbag, other occupant measures and crash energy management system failed to properly restrain and protect him."

The complaint states that the vehicle had not been modified since it was placed into the stream of commerce by the Nissan defendants. It also states that the seat belt made by NSK was not safe.

The lawsuit charges negligence on the part of NSK and the Nissan defendants in the design, manufacture and sale of the vehicle; strict liability on the part of NSK and the Nissan deendants; negligence on the part of Courts Motors in Hurricane for the sale of the vehicle; and failure to warn, breach of warranty and punitive damages on the part of all defendants.

Martin Masters is representing the family. Circuit Judge Irene Berger has been assigned the case.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 06-C-338

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