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Some years ago I experienced two complete rollovers of my SUV. For some reason, probably due to a rush of adrenalin, it seemed to take my car a minute to come to a stop. During the rollovers I noticed that my seatbelt was snugly holding me in place. I even thought that it was amazing how the restraint system was doing its job so well.

Some accident victims are not as fortunate, however. The failure of a seatbelt is the basis for a product liability lawsuit filed in West Virginia this week. Because her seatbelt disengaged Kimberly Dawn Borders lost her life.

Hyundai sued for wrongful death

A father blames the makers of his daughter’s car for her death in an automobile accident on April 17.

John Borders, of Kopperston, filed suit individually and as the personal representative of the Estate of Kimberly Dawn Borders Aug. 15 in Kanawha Circuit Court against Hyundai Motor Co., Hyundai Motor America, Mountaineer Hyundai and Autoliv Australia.

Autoliv is the designer and manufacturer of the occupant restraint system in the 2003 Hyundai Tiburon his daughter was ejected from during a wreck, Borders says.

He says Kimberly was driving east at 10 a.m. on U.S. Route 460 near Oakvale when she drifted into the median. Her car turned onto its side and slid into a concrete water drain installed in the median, causing it to start flipping end-over-end.

“During the crash, as the vehicle overturned, the seatbelt disengaged,” the complaint says. “As the Hyundai Tiburon finally came to rest in the median, the plaintiff’s decedent was partially ejected from the driver’s side window.”

Kimberly, a 24-year-old college student, was pronounced dead on the scene.

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