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Thomas DeLattre and Glen D. Wieland

Family sues Tesla over fatal Florida accident

On Behalf of | May 16, 2023 | Car Safety |

A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against Tesla in connection with a 2022 Florida car accident. The lawsuit is being brought by the family of the couple killed in the crash. In the lawsuit, the family claims that the Tesla the couple was driving was defective and would not have crashed if its safety systems had been working properly. However, the family does not specify what kind of defect or malfunction may have caused the accident.


The fatal accident occurred in July 2022 at an Interstate 75 rest stop in Alachua County. The couple lost their lives when their Tesla Model S sedan struck the rear of a parked semi-tractor trailer shortly after entering the rest stop. Accident investigators determined that the car was traveling at approximately 60 mph at the time of the crash. The accident was investigated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration because a Tesla was involved and an Autopilot malfunction was suspected. However, that possibility was ruled out when it was discovered that the couple’s Tesla was not equipped with the controversial autonomous system.

Driver error

After a lengthy investigation, the Florida Highway Patrol concluded that the accident was caused by driver error. Investigators believe the driver pressed the accelerator instead of the brake pedal as the car entered the rest area because the couple were tired after a long trip. The family filed a wrongful death lawsuit because they disagree with this conclusion.

Electronic data

Advanced vehicles like the Tesla Model S have sophisticated electronic systems that store a great deal of information on black-box type devices. This information can be used to establish that a mechanical malfunction caused an accident, and it can also prove that drivers made errors in the moments before they crashed.

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