Fiat Chrysler Appeals Verdict of Negligence in Jeep Fire Case

Aug. 13, 2015

Aug. 13, 2015—Fiat Chrysler said on Tuesday that it will appeal a Georgia court’s order to pay $40 million to the family of a child who died in a Jeep fire.

Earlier this year, a jury found Fiat Chrysler negligent and awarded $150 million in damages to the family of a 4-year-old who died in 2014 after a Jeep Grand Cherokee he was riding in was hit from behind and burst into flames. The jeep’s gas tank was mounted behind the rear axle, leaving it vulnerable in the case of a rear-end collision.

In July, Decatur County Superior Court Judge J. Kevin Chason reduced the damages to $40 million but rejected the request from Fiat Chrysler for a new trial. Chason said he saw no evidence to support the claim that the jury acted with passion and prejudices. He also said that the evidence against the automaker was overwhelming, according to ABC News.

The case is now headed to the Georgia Court of Appeals.  

At least 75 people have died in post-crash fires involving Jeep models with rear-mounted gas tanks. The problem led to a recall of 1.56 million Jeep Grand Cherokees and Libertys to install trailer hitches to protect the tanks in the event of of a low-speed crash, according to the report.