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Pulaski jury awards $14M in airbag case

A Pulaski County jury has awarded $14 million to a Radford man who suffered a traumatic brain injury blamed on alleged safety lapses in his Hyundai car.

Zachary “Gage” Duncan, 20, sued Hyundai Motor America after the 2010 wreck that left him in a coma for almost a week, according to The Roanoke Times.

Duncan was 16 at the time of the accident.

A jury of three women and four men deliberated for almost 10 hours after a two-week trial before finding that Hyundai breached the implied warranty of merchantability, the paper reported.

Ari Casper of Washington, lead attorney for Duncan and his family, argued that the air bag sensors in Hyundai’s 2003 to 2008 Tiburon models are in the wrong location and do not accurately detect when the side air bag should deploy.

Duncan has permanent brain injury. The cost of his lifetime care was estimated at $11 million, the paper said.

Circuit Judge Colin Gibb said he expected post-trial motions.

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