A jury this week awarded $150 million to the family of a 4-year-old boy who was killed when a Jeep Grand Cherokee exploded into flames after it was rear-ended three years ago.
After a nine-day trial, the jury in Decatur County, Georgia ruled that Chrysler must pay nearly the full amount of the verdict, finding the auto maker and maker of Jeeps 99 percent responsible for the death.
The lawsuit alleged that Chrysler acted with reckless disregard in selling the family of Remington Walden a 1999 Jeep with a gas tank mounted behind the rear axle. Chrysler placed the gas tank in a "crush zone" behind the rear axle, knew the location was dangerous, and failed to protect it against rupturing, the suit alleged.
The boy, or Bainbridge, Georgia, was being driven to a tennis lesson by his aunt when the Jeep was struck from behind by a pickup truck in March 2012. The fuel tank leaked gas, which ignited and engulfed the vehicle, killing the boy.
The Associated Press reported that federal documents show that at least 75 people have died in post-crash fires because of the rear-mounted fuel tanks.
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