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SETTLEMENT ANNOUNCEMENT
Case No.: GD96-7150
In the Court of Common Pleas
of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania
Rozanna Q. Reutzel v. Toyota Motor Corp., et al.

PLAINTIFF'S ATTORNEYS: Raymond Paul Johnson, Esq.
Donn W. Christensen, Esq.
Law Offices of Raymond Paul Johnson
10990 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1150
Los Angeles, CA 90024

Paul W. Danielsen, Esq.
Law Office of Paul W. Danielsen
826 Orange Avenue, Suite 310
Coronado, CA 92118

 
DEFENSE ATTORNEYS: Edward A. Gray, Esq.
Gerard Cedrone, Esq.
Lavin, Coleman, O'Neil, Ricci, Finarelli & Gray
Penn Mutual Tower Building
510 Walnut Street, Suite 1000
Philadelphia, PA 19106

David Graves, Esq.
Bowman and Brooke
150 S. 5th Street, Suite 2600
Minneapolis, MN 55402

 
PLAINTIFF'S EXPERTS: Steve Meyer (Accident Reconstruction)
Steve Forrest (Occupant Kinematics)
Liability Research/SAFE
55 Depot Road
Goleta, CA 93117

Anthony Sances, Jr., Ph.D. (Biomechanics)
Biomechanics Institute
4665 North Port Washington Road
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53212

David J. Biss (Occupant Restraint Systems)
Automotive Safety Analysis Corporation
15506 Avery Road
Rockville, MD 20855

James D. Rodgers, Ph.D. (Forensic Economics)
347 Koebner Circle
State College, PA 16801

Frederick M. Maynard, M.D. (Medical Rehabilitation)
U.P. Rehabilitation Medical Assn.
1414 West Fair Drive, Suite 119
Marquette, MI 49855

Doreen Casuto (Life Care Plan)
Rehabilitation Care Coordination
7851 Mission Center Court, Suite 103
San Diego, CA 92108

 
DEFENSE EXPERTS: Dr. Charles Warner (Accident Reconstruction)
150 S. Mountainview Drive
Orem, UT 84057

Thomas Tiede (Occupant Restraint Systems)
Automotive Consulting Engineer
7092 Little Harbor Drive
Huntington Beach, CA 92648

Dr. G. Murray Mackay (Biomechanics)
Mull House
Ballagarrett Bride
Isle of Mann 1M73EA
United Kingdom

Marc A. Weinstein (Economist)
MBA
1420 Walnut Street, Suite 605
Philadelphia, PA 19102

 
NATURE OF THE CASE: This products liability case arises from a November 23, 1994 automobile collision on State Route 279 just outside Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Plaintiff Rozanna Reutzel, a 32-year-old housewife and mother, was a middle-row rear-seat passenger in a 1992 Toyota Previa minivan driven by her husband in wet and icy conditions. The vehicle went out of control and crossed the median, colliding nearly head-on with a 1991 Chevrolet S-10 Blazer. All occupants of the Blazer were unbelted and died.

Everyone in the Previa was using the provided occupant restraint system. Both of Reutzel's children (1 years and 5 months) were in child restraint seats. Mrs. Reutzel, who was seated on the right-hand side of the rear bench seat in the middle row, was wearing the lap belt available for her use. She suffered a fractured spine at L-3, paraplegia, crushed small and large intestines and blunt-force trauma to her abdomen and other internal organs.

 
PLAINTIFF'S CLAIMS: The lap-only seat belt provided to Mrs. Reutzel was defective and caused her injuries in this 35-mph delta-V collision. The lack of a shoulder harness caused her to jackknife over the lap belt, resulting in the injuries described above. Had a shoulder belt been provided, Mrs. Reutzel would have suffered no permanent injury in this collision.
 
DEFENDANT'S CLAIMS: This was a very high-energy collision caused by the driver, Mrs. Reutzel's husband. Because of the high speeds, Mrs. Reutzel would have sustained serious injuries whether she wore a 3-point belt system or a lap-only belt. She also was probably seated out of position as the lap belt was not properly adjusted across her lap, exacerbating her injuries.
 
TRIAL JUDGE: Hon. R. Stanton Wettick, Jr.
 
TRIAL DATE: November 22, 1999
 
SETTLEMENT DATE: October 2, 1999
 
SETTLEMENT AMOUNT: CONFIDENTIAL
 
MEDIATION SERVICE: Hon. David Ward Murphy
Justus Mediation, ADR Services
3380 USX Tower, 600 Grant Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
 
Settlement Summary Prepared by:    The Law Offices of Raymond Paul Johnson
10990 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1150
Los Angeles, CA 90024
(Telephone: 310-246-9300)
Representing:  Plaintiff
Date:   October 2, 1999



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