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Wrongful Death Claim Against Chrysler Still Upheld After Bankruptcy


Imagine that a loved one dies as a result of a companies faulty product. You file a wrongful death claim against the company and are awarded a settlement but soon after that company files bankruptcy and you are left with a seemingly meaningless settlement.

This is the exact situation that the Mraz family found themselves in after the death of Richard Mraz (38 yrs-old). Detroit News.com has released an article describing the situation of the Mraz family. They were awarded a $55.4 million wrongful death claim against Chrsyler LLC. Recently, Chrysler has filed bankruptcy leaving the actual payment of the claim in uncertainty.

Wrongful Death Claim Against Chrysler

Richard Mraz was hit and killed by a Dodge Dakota pickup truck that was found to have a defective transmission. The accident occurred in 2004 and the Mraz family was awarded their verdict in 2007.

Chrysler did appeal the verdict and soon after filed for bankruptcy. The payment of the awarded settlement then became questionable. At this point, it must have seemed both frustrating and hopeless to the Mraz family.

Who’s Responsible After Bankruptcy

Who is now responsible for this settlement? It would seem unjust to have the settlement simply fall through the cracks for a companies failure. More importantly, who is responsible for determining who is responsible for this settlement?

Since Chrysler has filed bankruptcy, a bankruptcy court now oversees this settlement and Chrysler assets which are now owned by Old Carco LLC. This bankruptcy court ruled to uphold the settlement and allowed for the Mraz family to negotiate directly with Safeco Insurance Company of America, the company that is handling Chrysler’s appeal.

They were able to reach a settlement of $24 million to be payed out on October 5. We are sorry for the Mraz family’s loss and hope that this settlement brings relief and recovery as they try to continue on after this loss.

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