— A Missouri man has sued General Motors alleging the seat heater in his 2008 Chevrolet Silverado left him with second- and third-degree burns to his thighs, buttocks, lower left hip and groin area.
The plaintiff, a paraplegic, has no feeling below the waist and had no clue the seat heater was activated or that it could get so hot as to cause serious burns.
As first reported by the Springfield News-Leader, the plaintiff was traveling back to Missouri from Louisiana after delivering a trailer. Once at home, he discovered the wounds allegedly caused by the seat heater, causing weekly visits to a wound care specialist and daily home care and therapies.
The lawsuit admits the "seat heater was inadvertently turned on," but the plaintiff argues the "seat heater and its associated component parts generated dangerously high temperatures and heat" to the point of causing physical harm.
According to the lawsuit, the seat heater lacked adequate safeguards to prevent the release of heat that was so dangerous that it caused second-degree and third-degree burns.
In addition, the plaintiff says the seat heater doesn't have an automatic shutoff that would have deactivated the heater before reaching dangerously high temperatures.
The Silverado seat heaters allegedly weren't adequately tested and/or inspected before the trucks were sold, and the heaters "failed to safely regulate the temperatures and heat emitted in violation of GM’s knowledge of industry and medically recognized risks."
The plaintiff says the seat heater didn't safely regulate the temperatures and heat, which allowed the heat to reach dangerous levels capable of causing severe burns. According to the lawsuit, this allegedly is a violation of GM's own design and performance specifications.
The GM seat heater lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri, Southern Division.
The plaintiff is represented by Langdon & Emison.