Family Files $20M Suit Against SpaceX After Fatal Car Accident
A Texas family has filed a multi-million-dollar lawsuit against SpaceX after a family member was killed outside of the launch site in a vehicle accident. The family was set to leave their Texas home for a camping trip when rising tides forced them to leave early. On the way to the beach, their vehicle crashed into an 18-wheeler that had stalled along the shoulder. The driver, husband, and father died in the accident. His wife and children suffered serious injuries in the crash as well. The family has filed a lawsuit alleging gross negligence against SpaceX. In this article, we’ll discuss the claims made in the lawsuit.
Elements of negligence
It may not be readily apparent how SpaceX is negligent. According to the family, the highway running along SpaceX should have been updated to account for increased traffic. Because that never happened, the family believes that SpaceX contributed negligence to the deadly crash. SpaceX is accused of gross negligence.
The suit says that SpaceX should have added lighting to the area and that the highway became unreasonably dangerous to drivers once SpaceX moved in. In the case of the stopped 18-wheeler, the plaintiffs have suggested that the vehicle stopped there because the road was too narrow, and the lighting was insufficient. When the family vehicle traversed the stretch of highway, they never saw the stopped 18-wheeler and that resulted in a death and three injuries.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs contend that SpaceX rushed the project forward and put profits ahead of safety.
Complexities in this litigation
If, in the process of reading the above section, you wondered, “Isn’t it the government’s job to fix the highways?” you would not be alone. That is a fair argument. The plaintiffs would prefer to avoid filing a lawsuit directly against the city because of a concept known as sovereign immunity. Every state in the country limits the types of lawsuits that can be filed against a municipality and Texas laws are among the most significant. It is unlikely that a government actor could be held negligent for something they did not do. Even if they could, the damages would be limited to $200,000 or less depending on Texas’ damage caps.
So the plaintiffs find themselves in the position of arguing why it was SpaceX’s responsibility to update the highway and not the governments. In fact, much of this case could revolve around who had the responsibility to update the highway. SpaceX, of course, will point the finger at the municipality in charge of the highway while the plaintiffs are hoping that SpaceX and its deep pockets will be primarily responsible. The Texas courts will either decide the matter for themselves or address the issue with a jury.
Talk to a Miami, FL Personal Injury Attorney
If you’ve been injured due to a dangerous condition under someone else’s control, you are entitled to recover damages related to your medical expenses, lost wages, and reduced quality of life. Call Payer & Associates today to schedule a free consultation with a Miami personal injury attorney.