Fiat-Chyrsler files motion for new trial

Published 11:02 am Monday, May 11, 2015

Fiat-Chrysler filed a motion for a new trial last Thursday after a jury in the Decatur County Superior Court awarded the family of 4-year-old Remington Cole Walden $150 million for the child’s death in a Jeep in 2012.

The jury determined in April that Fiat-Chrysler was 99 percent at fault for the placement of a gas tank that ruptured when hit from behind and burst the 1999 Jeep Cherokee into flames. Walden was unable to escape and passed away inside the vehicle.

Attorney Jim Butler of Butler Wooten Cheeley & Peak of Atlanta, who represented the Waldens during the two-week trial, called the motion “nonsense.”

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“Fiat-Chrysler cannot defend its product, so it continues to try to blame someone, anyone, for the damage it has caused to the Walden family and dozens of other victims of the defective Jeep,” Butler said.

Fiat-Chrysler’s motion claims that the verdict is contrary to law, contrary to the evidence, strongly against the weight of the evidence and is the product of improper evidence and argument.

“The Court’s charge to the jury and Georgia law concerning the measure of damages violate the Defendant’s right to due process,” the motion reads. “The verdict is so excessive as to be inconsistent with the preponderance of the evidence and is the result of passion, prejudice and an improper punitive motive.”

The motion also claims the damage awards of $150 million to the Walden family are unconstitutional.

When contacted for comment, Michael Palese of FCA U.S. said the motion addresses Fiat-Chrysler’s position.