They were left with life-changing injuries in a head-on crash because of the faulty repairs.
A Texas couple has been awarded a staggering $42 million in compensation after they were seriously injured in a crash due to the faulty repairs made to their Honda Fit hatchback by a body shop. According to Fox 4 News, Matthew and Marcia Seebachan were involved in a head-on crash with a pickup truck in December 2013 that caused the car to burst into flames because it was structurally unsafe. Both occupants miraculously survived the horrific crash, but Matthew was left trapped inside and suffered fourth-degree burns.
His injuries meant he had to stay in hospital for nearly three years, and he still lives in severe pain. After hiring a lawyer, the couple made a shocking discovery – the 2010 Honda Fit they had bought had previously suffered hail damage but wasn’t repaired properly. Apparently, the company that repaired the car, John Eagle Body Shop, glued on a replacement roof instead of welding it as Honda requires. None of this was mentioned in the car’s history, either. Consequently, the impact of the crash caused the roof to separate, leading to a chain reaction of structural failures that jammed the doors and ruptured the fuel tank.
Both Matthew and Marcia were trapped in the burning wreck for several minutes before witnesses were able to pull them out. While Matthew suffered fourth-degree burns, Marcia was left with several broken bones, bruises, and internal bleeding. As to why the roof was glued on instead of being welded, after further investigation the manager of the Body Shop admitted that car companies give guidelines on car repairs, but insurance companies often pressure independent body shops to use cheaper methods. The couple’s lawyer is now suing State Farm Insurance based on these claims. It’s a grim reminder that you never fully know what happened to a used car before you buy it.
To have someone drop on you that it could've been prevented is the worst feeling,” Marcia said. “It just leaves you in shock." She went onto say that the $42 million verdict is not just about money. "That's really what the verdict meant to us is hearing someone tell us what we've been through matters,” she said. “And it matters not just us, but it matters for other people."