Lawsuit filed against Mercedes after soft-close doors of GLE cut man's thumb
While soft-close doors are found on a number of high-end vehicles these days, a recent lawsuit against Mercedes has labeled them as “modern-day guillotine". The power closing doors have become the focus of a lawsuit filed by plaintiff Richard J Kastigar, Jr, the chief deputy of the Pima County Sheriff Department in Arizona after he lost a part of his thumb in a Mercedes GLE 450 door, Car Complaints reported.
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The incident took place in October last year when the plaintiff exited the vehicle with his back to the car and his right hand behind his back near the B-pillar. While his right thumb was placed on the inside door column, the door pulled shut on his thumb unexpectedly, the report stated. Kastigar revealed in his lawsuit that he felt as if his right thumb was being crushed by the door and couldn't help but watch the door severed the upper half of his thumb.
After the injury, it was too late to restore his thumb to its pre-injury condition. The lawsuit says the plaintiff underwent emergency surgery "to remove the protruding distal phalanx bone and surrounding soft tissue and nerves." It further mentions that he will lose at least $500,000 in wages due to his thumb injury. “A once proud and independent man… now relies on his wife to assist him… He has great difficulties holding a pen, feeding himself, tying his own shoes," the lawsuit read.
Though the Mercedes soft-close doors work as designed, the lawsuit alleges that the system lacks safeguards such as sensors to detect if fingers or hands are placed in the way. The lawsuit also claims the carmaker should not be marketing or selling any vehicles equipped with soft-close doors and alleged that it fails to warn customers about the dangers.