Vermont Paraplegic Awarded $43.1M After Crash

July 9, 2013

A 51-year-old Vermont woman has been awarded a $43.1 million jury verdict against the manufacturer of a car seat that allegedly collapsed during a 2007 car accident, leaving her a paraplegic.

The award is believed to be the largest civil verdict in state court in Vermont history.

Dzemila Heco of Essex Junction was injured on Aug. 4, 2007, when the car she was driving was rearended.

Heco’s lawyers argued the car seat back collapsed, causing severe spinal-cord injuries. Heco was wearing a seat belt.

The jury returned the judgment Friday against Johnson Controls, Inc., of Milwaukee after a two-week trial.

The Burlington Free Press reports Johnson Controls disagreed with the verdict. The company says the seat exceeded all government and industry standards. The company is considering an appeal.

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