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Personal Injury Verdicts & Awards

$8 Million-Plus Awarded in GM Crash Case


Auto Interior Used in County Courtroom

Settlement has been reached in the punitive phase of the lawsuit brought by a Bucks Township couple against General Motors Corp. as the result of a collision of vehicles more than five years ago.

The amount of settlement was not disclosed in the courtroom of Judge Correale Stevens and the jury was dismissed from further service in the case. The trial opened Sept. 6. There is no limit as to what a jury could award in the punitive phase of a trial.

There will be no appeal by GMC, it was announced.

There jury, following the initial phase of the trial, awarded William and Margaret Davis of Indian Lake, White Haven, $8 million.

The final amount of the case can be listed as "$8 million plus."

This case is probably the first in the U.S. which went to a jury verdict for plaintiffs that the vehicle was defective without an airbag safety system, and the first such case to jury verdict that a door mounted belt safety device was defective.

A jurist in Texas, about two weeks ago, certified a class action complaint relative to door mounted safety system in vehicles.

Mr. and Mrs. Davis were represented in the case against GMC by attorneys Joseph Quinn, Michelle Quinn, and Melissa Scartelli and paralegal Rita groves. Also participating was attorney Larry Coben of Arizona, an automobile expert.

Mr. Davis, following completion of the entire trial, stated Wednesday that he and his wife are very happy the case has been concluded after more than five years.

Mr. Davis was seriously injured in a collision of vehicles Aug. 15, 1989, on Route 115, Bear Creek the safety belt system of the vehicle, purchased in 1988, was defective and the man was not given an option to secure an airbag for his General Motors car.

The case came to trial before Judge Stevens and the jury Sept. 6 and the verdict of $8 million was handed up on Sept. 21. The punitive phase of the case opened Sept. 28.

Among the prime witnesses for the plaintiffs in the trial was John Ehrlichman, former legal counsel and advisor to the late President Richard Nixon.

Attorney Quinn reported he is not at liberty to discuss the settlement of the case.

However, he noted that this is the first case in the United States in which a verdict in favor of plaintiffs was given in contention of defectiveness due to lack of an airbag. He also noted the recent decision of the jurist in Texas relative to the class action.

PLEASE NOTE: Every case is fact specific, and these results do not guaranty the same results will be obtained in a different case.

About HKQ Law

Hourigan, Kluger & Quinn is considered one of the top civil litigation and commercial law firms that has had the privilege of representing more families in the courtroom than any other NEPA firm. The attorneys at HKQ Law have been honored as Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers, Best Law Firms by US News and World Report, and have received the AV Preeminent Rating by Martindale-Hubbel. HKQ Law was recently recognized for one of the top 20 Verdicts in Pennsylvania.

The firm’s Personal Injury Team, led by Attorney Joe Quinn, Jr., has won some of the largest verdicts and settlements in the region's history. The Personal Injury Team focuses on a wide array of personal injury claims and civil litigation, including medical malpractice, auto and truck accidents, aviation accidents, unsafe vehicles, dangerous or defective products, workplace injuries (worker's compensation), construction site accidents, claim denials by insurance companies, dangerous drugs, defective children's products, nursing home abuse and neglect, and falls due to unsafe conditions (slip and fall).

Attorney Joseph A Quinn, Jr. is one of only 100 attorneys in the United States (and one of only three in Pennsylvania) honored with membership in the Inner Circle of Trial Advocates, and one of only 500 attorneys worldwide chosen to be a Fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. He has been a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer every year since the program began and has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America every year since the publication was established in 1987. Best Lawyers also named him top personal injury attorney for Northeastern Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley. In addition, Best Lawyers, in conjunction with U.S. News & World Report, has designated HKQ a Tier 1 Best Law Firm across multiple categories in Northeastern Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley.

Since the inception of the firm, the Commercial / Corporate Team led by Attorney Allan Kluger has provided comprehensive, integrated legal services to many of Northeastern and Eastern Pennsylvania's largest corporations, businesses, banks, non-profits and institutions, handling matters involving labor and employment, wills, trusts and estate planning, estate administration, elder law, commercial transactions, residential and commercial real estate, zoning, land use and development, telecommunications, mediations and arbitrations, commercial litigation, title insurance, business planning and business succession, corporate/business structuring, employment discrimination law for employers, banking, creditor’s rights, finance, lender liability defense, covenants not to compete, construction law, mergers and acquisitions and other business matters.

Additional information can be found at or by calling (800) 760-1529.



As Hourigan, Kluger and Quinn addresses the concerns raised by COVID-19, the health and safety of our clients, employees and friends of the firm remain our top priority.

These are very difficult and scary times and we hope that you and your loved ones are safe and symptom free. We recognize that so many of you are understandably anxious about your health, the economic impact of this pandemic and all of the consequences of social isolation.

We also recognize that many of you are anxious about how the coronavirus is impacting the Court systems, our firm and your cases. Although all of our offices are closed, our firm has remained fully operational and we have initiated procedures that allow all of our attorneys and staff to work remotely from their homes. Each of us and our staff will respond to any emails and calls about your cases as quickly as possible.

Our Federal and State Courts have instituted significant changes in their calendars as a result of the coronavirus. Although most courthouses are closed to the public, and Hearings and Trials will be delayed for some time, there are matters that can proceed telephonically and by video. Despite these changes in the Court calendars, we are working diligently on your cases and are determined to do whatever we possibly can to assure an early and just recovery for you and your loved ones. Even under these difficult circumstances, we believe that "Nobody will work harder for you than we will."

With regard to new potential clients, we are not in a position to have an in-person new client meeting, but we will be conducting these initial meetings via phone. New potential clients should call us for a free telephone consultation at (570) 287-3000.


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