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CVEYICH v. FIAT MOTORS OF NORTH AMERICA

Michael Cveyich was driving his 58-year-old mother in his 1978 Fiat when they were struck by a 1975 Mustang, which allegedly ran a red light. Mrs. Cveyich alleged that the passenger seat in which she was riding, came off its tracks. She claimed the seat was defectively designed and manufactured. She also claimed that the gear shift lever was too far forward, too high and was uncrashworthy.

Mrs. Cveyich’s injuries were such that she was bedridden for the rest of her life. She sustained comminuted fractures of both femurs with nonunion of the right leg. She also suffered seven fractured ribs on her left side, and ruptured tendons in both hands. Michael Cveyich claimed soft tissue injuries. The case was tried before a Los Angeles downtown jury. Roger Sheinbein and Louis Litwin, of the Law Offices of Litwin, Barough & Sheinbein, represented the plaintiffs. After more than a month trial, the jury returned a defense verdict in favor of Fiat. The judge who presided over the trial, subsequently awarded a $2 million court verdict in favor of Mrs. Cveyich and against the driver of the Mustang who failed to appear at trial and had a default entered against him.