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Deadly crash at auto auction reveals potential safety issues

Last week this blog reported on an auto accident that took place at an auto auction in Massachusetts. In that collision, a worker drove a Jeep Grand Cherokee into a building, and struck 12 people. Three of the victims died and nine were injured. It was an unfortunate incident that never should have happened.

Moreover, according to a recent report, the auto auction had violated federal safety regulations in the past. Back in 2014, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a citation for seriously violating regulations twice. The citation came after the business was inspected by OSHA. The inspection found that the business did not utilize proper traffic control instruments while workers were engaged in maintenance tasks in the vicinity of automobiles that were being driven. According to records, the business was ultimately fined $2,200, and the business remedied the reported violations.

Another issue that this recent accident raises is whether there was a defect in the car that struck the victims. According to one auto safety professional, between 2005 to 2010, 226 incidents were reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in which a Jeep Grand Cherokee suddenly accelerated on its own.

As this shows, determining liability in situations like this can be very complicated. There is the driver, the business where the driver worked and perhaps even the manufacturer of the vehicle that played some sort of role in the incident. When a complex car crash occurs, it is important for victims to seek legal help. An attorney can examine the facts of the case to determine which entities may be held liable.

Source: CBS Boston, "Safety Questions Raised After Fatal Auto Auction Crash in Billerica," Ryan Kath, May 3, 2017

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