Grieving widow sues Musk's Tesla over husband's death

IANS Photo

IANS Photo

New York, August 23 (IANS): A grieving widow has sued Tesla in the US after her husband died in a 2020 crash involving a Model 3 vehicle.

Jyung Woo Hahn, 46, died on March 12, 2022, when his Tesla malfunctioned and collided with a tree and burst into flames in New York.

He allegedly survived the initial crash but was trapped in the burning vehicle.

Now, the plaintiff Jiyoung Yoon has sued Tesla in the US District Court, Southern District of New York, for its role in designing, manufacturing, distributing, and selling the vehicle “in its defective and unreasonably dangerous condition and for causing Hahn’s horrific injuries, suffering, and death”.

Hahn was driving a Tesla on the Palisades Interstate Parkway in Rockland County, New York.

“The subject vehicle’s defective and unreasonably dangerous condition actually... caused Hahn’s injuries and death and Plaintiff’s damages,” the lawsuit read.

The lawsuit is demanding judgment against Tesla “for all injuries and damages recoverable by law, including economic damages, lost wages and earning capacity, loss of parental guidance, mental anguish, emotional distress, pain and suffering, conscious pain and suffering of Jyung Woo Hahn, punitive damages, costs, and interest”.

The lawsuit came as the electric car-maker’s engineers reportedly admitted in their testimonies that Musk-run Tesla did not fix the Autopilot system after a fatal crash in the US in 2016 that killed a driver.

Despite the company’s knowledge “that there’s cross traffic or potential for cross traffic, the Autopilot at the time was not designed to detect that,” according to the testimony given in 2021 by company engineer Chris Payne that was excerpted in a recent court filing.

Engineer Nicklas Gustafsson provided a similar account in a 2021 deposition.

The family for one of the dead Tesla owners is now seeking punitive damages in a lawsuit, set to go to trial this October.

Tesla is under intense scrutiny for its Autopilot and its Full Self-Driving (FSD) driver assistance features.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is also investigating self-driving claims made by Musk.