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Jury Awards Plaintiff $1.8 Million in Hyundai Lawsuit

Convinced that Hyundai's reclining seats were a defect, a Texas jury awarded the family of 19 year old Sarah Goodner damages in the amount of $1.8 million. Goodner was killed when the Hyundai Tucson she was riding in flipped on a Texas highway. Although she was wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident, Goodner had her seat back fully reclined and was not restrained by the belts during the accident.

During the trail, Hyundai pointed out that the Tucson owner's manual specifically states seats are not to be fully reclined while the vehicle is in motion. The jury instead sided with the Goodner family's attorney, who suggested that Hyundai should limit seat recline to 45 degrees or equip their vehicles with seats that automatically return to upright in the event of a crash.

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