Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:
“Erica Scannavino, 32, burned to death inside a 1996 Jeep Cherokee in July 2017 after she was hit from behind while making a left turn, according to a lawsuit her parents filed. They blamed her death on FCA, formerly known as Chrysler.
“Even as Chrysler awaits a decision from the Georgia Supreme Court on its appeal of a $40 million judgment in the case of an exploding gas tank, the company now must defend itself against another similar lawsuit filed last week in Gwinnett County State Court.
Erica Scannavino, 32, burned to death inside a 1996 Jeep Cherokee in July 2017 after she was hit from behind while making a left turn, according to a lawsuit her parents filed. They blamed the crash on the driver who hit her, but they blamed her death on Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA).
The circumstances of Scannavino’s death appear eerily similar to those of 4-year-old Remi Walden, whose parents’ case is pending before the high court. Both vehicles had a rear-mounted gas tank sitting behind the axle. Both ignited after crashing.
But Scannavino’s Jeep also had a steel trailer hitch the company added aftermarket to address safety concerns about the gas tanks rupturing on impact, according to the lawsuit and a U.S. Department of Transportation report. The hitch only made matters worse, according to the lawsuit.
“As the vehicle was hit, the trailer hitch crushed into the gas tank and punctured it, exacerbating the deformation of the gas tank,” the lawsuit said. “The gasoline ignited and the subject vehicle became engulfed in flames.” Scannavino was trapped inside even as others tried to rescue her and “after some time, was burned alive,” the lawsuit said.”