Last weekend, my family and I stumbled onto the 1980s classic movie, Christine, about the old car that seemingly has a mind of its own and disposes of people who say bad things about it. That even included locking the doors on its own and refusing to unlock them to let her victims out.
That’s the first thing that popped into our mind this week when we heard that General Motors is facing a lawsuit from the children of the 72-year-old man who became locked in his C6 Corvette last year and succumbed to the heat when he couldn’t figure out how to open the electronic doors.
Unfortunately, the rookie Corvette owner apparently didn’t read the owner’s manual where it tells about the emergency handle right next to the driver’s seat that instantly pops open the door.
We’re certainly sorry about the death of James Lee Rogers, but we’re not sure the locking mechanism is defective the way Troy Rogers and Tricia Hernandez claim in their lawsuit that was filed April 25.
Hundreds of thousands of C6 Corvettes were manufactured, and we haven’t heard of another instance where the door locks caused someone’s death.
Regardless, the suit was filed in the Jefferson County District Court against General Motors LLC, et al, citing negligence. The plaintiffs claim that GM allegedly manufactured and distributed vehicles with the purportedly defective locking mechanism and failed to warn the public of its dangers.
If the gentleman had taken the time to read the owner’s manual, he would have known about the emergency handle. What else could GM have done?
The plaintiffs request a trial by jury and seek exemplary damages, interest, all legal fees and any other relief as this court deems just. They are represented by B. Adam Terrell and Lindsey B. Whisenhant of Weller, Green, Toups & Terrell LLP in Beaumont, Texas.
In a previous article for Corvette Blogger right after the death of Mr. Rogers, we wrote the following and repeat it today, hoping the message will save someone else in a similar situation:
We would urge all C6 and C7 Corvette owners to become acquainted with this handle NOW. It could save their lives one day. I had to use it one day in my 2005 convertible when I locked the door without having my keys in my pocket, but fortunately I was in the basement of my house out of the heat and had time to read the owner’s manual and find the emergency handle.