Cook County Record

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Channahon family sues G.M., D'Arcy dealership over power steering defect they say caused teen's fatal 2014 crash

By Jonathan Bilyk | Jun 2, 2015

Relatives of a young Channahon woman who died in a May 2014 car crash just about a week after she graduated high school have sued General Motors, a car dealer and an auto repair shop who worked on the Pontiac G6 in which the young woman died.

On June 1, Scott and Eileen Angus, parents of Madison Angus, filed suit in Cook County Circuit Court against G.M., D’Arcy Buick GMC, of Joliet, and Manheim Remarketing, which does business under the name Manheim Arena Illinois, in Bolingbrook.

The couple allege each of the businesses should be held liable for the wrongful death of their daughter, who they assert died because of a mechanical failure on the vehicle.

The Angus complaint arises about a year after Madison, 18, died in a single-vehicle crash late in the evening on May 27, 2014, on South Canal Road, along the Illinois and Michigan Canal, in Channahon in Will County. According to published reports about the incident, police said Madison Angus’ vehicle left the roadway, flipped on its side, struck several trees and slid down on an embankment. Police said alcohol was not a factor in the crash, though high speed may have been.

Police said in published reports Madison was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash and was ejected from the vehicle.

She had graduated about a week earlier from Minooka Community High School.

In their complaint, Angus’ parents contend the crash was the result of a sudden failure of the power steering system in the 2005 Pontiac G6 Madison was driving that night.

The Angus family had purchased the vehicle from D’Arcy Buick GMC in September 2009, the complaint states.

They assert work had been performed in April 2009 on the vehicle’s power steering system by Manheim, which is in the business of repairing and reselling used cars.

And in June 2014, shortly after the fatal crash, the Anguses state they received a notice from G.M., advising of a safety recall of the very defect in the power steering system they assert is responsible for their daughter’s death.

They allege G.M. manufactured, and D’Arcy sold, a defective vehicle, without the proper equipment and warnings to users about the potential failure of the allegedly defective power steering system. Further, they allege Manheim improperly repaired the vehicle and did not notify the sellers or buyers.

They have asserted counts of wrongful death, negligence and strict liability against the defendants.

The Angus family is asking for damages of more than $50,000, plus attorney fees and court costs.

They are represented in the action by attorney Robert J. Napleton, of the firm of Motherway & Napleton, of Chicago.




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