The family of one of the teenage passengers killed in the crash of a stolen Kia Sportage last month plans to file a wrongful death lawsuit against Kia America, the family’s attorney told The Buffalo News.
The lawsuit, when filed in federal court in Buffalo, will accuse the automaker of failing to recall vehicles that are being targeted for theft as part of a social media challenge and failing to alert the owners of Kias built without engine immobilizers about the widespread thefts.
The Oct. 24 crash on the Kensington Expressway involving a stolen Kia Sportage in which four teens were killed was shocking because of the number of deaths, but the events that led to it are familiar. Law enforcement officials say it was just a matter of time before the dangerous trend of stealing Kias and Hyundais resulted in tragedy in Buffalo.
The parents of Kevin Payne, 16, retained attorney Jonathan Michaels of Southern California-based MLG Attorneys at Law, who filed a class-action lawsuit in September against Kia America and Hyundai that could impact 10 million vehicles.