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Joyce D. Hutton and Derek Bell v. Hyundai Motor

In the Circuit Court of Bolivar County, Mississippi, Second Judicial District, Cause No. 2006-0053 (October 2014).

Plaintiffs Presented facts that established that Plaintiff, Derek Bell, was operating the subject Hyundai Sante Fe in a southerly direction on and along Mississippi Highway No. 61 in Bolivar County,Mississippi. Plaintiff, Joyce Hutton, was riding as a front seat guest passenger. Bell and Hutton Heard a noise and immediately thereafter the vehicle began to pull to the left. Mr. Bell applied his brakes, and the vehicle continued to pull to the left and off the highway. Before the vehicle rolled over, Mr. Bell attempted to steer the vehicle to the right in an attempt to stop the car from going into the northbound traffic of Highway 61.

The jury found sufficient evidence that the front-tone-ring design rendered the Santa Fe defective and unreasonably dangerous because of the unprotected tone ring’s exposure to the environment, which included road debris and hazards,and said debris struck the tone ring and dislodged it, and the design defect, rather than driver error, caused the loss of control and the resulting injuries and damages to Plaintiffs Bell and Hutton.

The jury award Joyce Hutton a judgment in the amount of $192,948.79, and Derek Bella judgment in the amount of $1,676,361.80.