2010-04-28 / Front Page

Parents of injured crash victims file lawsuit in 197th State District Court

Javier and Martha Mendoza, the parents of two young people injured in an August 2009 collision, have filed a law suit againts the father of an unlicensed minor who crashed her father's 2006 Dodge Ram 2500 pickup into their Ford Mustang.

Desiree Mendoza is said to be an incapacitated adult as the result of the crash and her young brother, Justin Mendoza also suffered serious injuries in the accident, caused when she ran a stop sign at the intersection of West Wood Ave. and FM 1834 just outside of Raymondville city limits.

Named as defendants are Martin Nieto, individually and his minor daughter. Also named as defendants are Heckethorn Products, Inc., doing business as Rough Country Suspensions, Inc., and Xtreme Offroad Suspensions by Precision Automotive.

The lawsuit states that Desiree Mendoza was driving west on Wood Ave., approaching FM1834 when a 2006 Dodge Ram 2500 equipped with a lift kit manufactured by Defendant Heckethorn Products, Inc. d/b/ a Rough Country Suspension Systems and installed by Defendant Xtreme Off road Suspensions, suddenly and without warning struck the driver's side door.

Desiree Mendoza was pinned behind the steering wheel and critically injured while Justin Mendoza suffered a broken arm and internal injuries.

The lawsuit maintains that she failed to yield the right of way at a stop sign and failed to apply the brakes of the 2006 Dodge Ram 2500 pickup, and that she was speeding.

Martin Nieto is accused of allowing a young, unlicensed driver to operate a vehicle he owned on a public street and highway, while knowing that she was incompetent, reckless, irresponsible and inexperienced and would create an unreasonable risk of danger to the public.

The lift kit designed, manufactured, marketed and sold by Defendant Hackethorn Products, Inc. d/b/a Rough Country Suspension Systems, was defective, unreasonably dangerous and a cause of the injuries sustained by the plaintiffs.

The lift kit, when installed, was defective because it resulted in an unreasonably dangerous bumper height on the truck which overrode the safety precautions afforded by passenger vehicles.

The plaintiffs are seeking medical care and expenses for past care plus medical care and expenses in the future.

Payments for physical pain and suffering in the past and in the future. Mental anguish payments for the past and in the future.

Physical impairment in the past and in the future, in an amount that exceeds the minimum limits of the Court, interest on said judgment and other relief as decided by the Court.

She recently plead guilty to delinquent conduct in juvenile court and was sentenced to a year in custody, probated for two years, 250 hours of community service and a daily 6 p.m. curfew.

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