Fiat Chrysler has asked a Georgia judge for a new trial a month after a jury awarded $150 million to the family of a 4-year-old Georgia boy killed in a crash and fire involving a Jeep.
The company, which makes Jeeps, says the jury’s award of $120 million for the life of Remington Walden and $30 million for his pain and suffering are “grossly excessive” and illegal under Georgia law. Fiat Chrysler, formally known as FCA US LLC, also contends the amounts are far higher than the largest awards in Georgia history that have been upheld on appeal.
Last month the jury in Decatur County ruled that Fiat Chrysler was 99 percent responsible for Walden’s death and that it acted with reckless disregard for human life in selling a 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee to his family. Walden burned to death when the Jeep was hit from behind in March of 2012. The Jeep had a plastic gas tank mounted behind its rear axle which ruptured and leaked gasoline, causing a fire.
The company’s motion contends that the “astonishing” size of the jury award was improperly swayed by passion and prejudice and should be set aside. It also asks the judge to reduce the award and require a new trial if the plaintiffs don’t accept the lower amount.
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