A lawsuit has been filed against a Houston car dealer by a daughter whose mother was tragically killed when her car stalled out on I-45 and was subsequently rear-ended by a tractor-trailer. The lawsuit claims the dealership improperly installed the wrong car battery.
According to court documents, Brenda Patterson (the mother) was in Dallas and decided to come down to Houston on December 26, 2018, to complete the purchase of the vehicle after her son-in-law helped negotiate a price on a Honda Accord on Gillman Honda’s lot.
As employees at Gillman started to prepare the vehicle for pick-up, they found that the car would not start. It was determined that the battery had to be replaced since the vehicle was sitting in the lot for over a year.
The employees ended up installing a smaller, Honda Civic battery, instead of a Honda Accord Battery. Patterson and her daughter went back to the dealership on December 27, 2018, to pick up the vehicle, which now had a smaller Honda Civic battery.
On May 29, 2020, Patterson decided to pay a visit to her daughter in Houston. As she was traveling south on I-45 from Dallas, her vehicle broke down in the middle of a travel lane, and she was not able to move the vehicle to a safer location before an 18-wheeler struck her.
Texas Department of Public Safety investigated the accident and determined it was some kind of mechanical or electrical failure that caused her vehicle to shut down and the subsequent fatal accident. Patterson nor the driver of the 18-wheeler was blamed for the accident.
Court documents, filed by the daughter’s attorneys, allege that Gillman Honda is responsible for the accident because employees installed the wrong battery, a smaller one that is simply not powerful enough for the Honda Accord that the mother was driving. The plaintiff is asking for at least $1,000,000 in damages.
The case is no. 2022-67744 and was filed in Harris County District Court on October 16, 2022.