Shaela Warkentin files lawsuit against the Ford motor company
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A lawsuit has been filed against the Ford motor company after an accident last year that nearly took a Fresno teen's life. Shaela Warkentin lost her vision in the crash.
Shaela was riding in the back seat of a Ford Mustang. Her attorney says if the back window would've been tempered glass and the seat had a head rest, her injuries could have been minor.
Shaela Warkentin is still learning to live without her eye sight. Nearly a year later, the 16 year old says she doesn't remember anything about the accident that changed her life. "It's like I woke up and I knew I was in a car accident, it was like I woke up and I couldn't see and it was normal, I didn't freak out or anything."
Last March, rescue crews had to use the Jaws of Life to free Shaela. She and her sister, along with a friend- were on their way home from church, when they were rear ended. The crash left chards of glass imbedded in Shaela's brain, she had several facial fractures and major trauma.
Attorney Warren Paboojian said, "She sustained very serious, life threatening injuries that we believe would've been prevented had the vehicle been designed properly."
In a lawsuit filed Friday in Fresno County Superior Court, the driver of the Ford F150 that hit the Mustang is also being sued. But, the lawsuit primarily focuses on Ford motor company and what attorneys describe as negligence during manufacturing.
Paboojian said, "Had the glass been tempered, and headrests in the back rear of the seat, we don't believe that Shaela would've come out of the vehicle and her injuries would've been minor compared to what they are today."
Attorney Warren Paboojian says the cost of manufacturing a tempered glass back window for a Mustang, would cost less than a hundred dollars. But, the benefits, he says would prevent passengers from being ejected during collisions. The lawsuit, also requests payment for medical expenses that Paboojian estimates are in the millions of dollars.
The lawsuit does not list any monetary amount. That will be up to a jury, unless the case is settled before a trial.
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