A Florida jury has awarded $10.5 million to the families of two teenagers killed in a Tesla crash. The lawsuit claimed the teens survived the car crash but were killed when the Tesla’s batteries caught fire. The father-of-a-teen also claimed that Elon Musk’s company removed a speed limiter from the car without his permission.
NBC News reports that a federal jury in Florida found Tesla partially negligent in a 2018 crash that killed two teenagers and also found one of the teenagers 90% responsible for his role in the crash.
James Riley, the father of one of the teenagers, has alleged that Tesla was responsible for the death of his son, Barrett Riley, 18, when batteries installed in the 2014 Model S sedan the teenager was driving ignited after the electric car. crashed in Fort Lauderdale, Florida while traveling nearly 100 mph over the posted speed limit.
Riley said Barrett and the other crash victim, 18-year-old Edgar Monserratt Martinez, survived the initial collision but died after the car burst into flames. Riley also claimed that a Tesla technician had – without his approval – removed a speed limiter installed on the car.
Tesla alleged that the speed limiter could not have prevented the accident at the speed the teenagers were driving and that Riley failed to establish that the car battery was faulty. The jury ruled that the majority of blame for the crash lay on Barrett, who was allegedly driving 116mph in a 25mph curve before the accident.
Barrett had a history of speeding and had received a ticket just two months before the accident for traveling at 112 mph. Ninety percent of the blame went to Barrett Riley, the driver, nine percent went to his father James Riley, while only one percent went to Tesla. The jury awarded Riley $10.5 million in damages.
A lawyer for the Rileys said: ‘We are pleased that, in what we understand to be the first lawsuit against Tesla involving an accident involving one of their vehicles, the jury has found that Tesla was negligent in removing the limiter of speed. without informing Mr. or Mrs. Riley.
Read more from NBC News here.
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering free speech and online censorship issues. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan