GM, auto dealer blamed for passenger's death; suit claims safety belt was defective

By Cara Bailey | Sep 20, 2007

MORGANTOWN - A Randolph County woman has filed a suit against General Motors, on behalf of the estate of a woman killed when her safety belt failed in a car accident.

Carolyn Parrack filed the suit Sept. 12 in Monongalia Circuit Court, on behalf of the estate of Miranda Nicole Parrack. The suit is against General Motors Corporation and Tygart Valley Motor Company, Inc.

According to the suit, Robert J. Howell bought a 1998 Chevy Blazer from Tygart Valley Motor Co., Inc. He was driving the vehicle Sept. 15, 2005, traveling south on Interstate 79 near Morgantown.

"Miranda Parrack was a passenger occupying the right font seat, with her seat belt and shoulder harness properly engaged," the suit says.

Howell lost control of the vehicle about a mile south of Exit 146 and went off the eastern side of the left-hand southbound lane, the suit claims. The vehicle began rolling over.

"Even though (Parrack) was wearing her safety belt at the time of the rollover, her occupant restraint system failed and she was ejected from the vehicle and killed," the suit says.

According to the suit, the crash was a result of negligence in designing, manufacturing, testing, marketing and distributing the Blazer.

In the three-count suit, Carolyn Parrack seeks punitive and compensatory damages for the estate of Miranda Parrack. She also seeks the right to amend her complaint as discovery continues.

Attorney Dino S. Colombo is representing Carolyn Parrack. The case has been assigned to Judge Robert Stone.

Monongalia Circuit Court case number 07-C-605

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