Couple awarded $42 million after shoddy repair traps them in fiery crash


A Dallas County jury has awarded $42 million to a couple who was trapped in their burning car after shoddy repair work by John Eagle Collision Center. 

In the federal lawsuit, the lawyer said the Dallas body shop chose to use a cheaper, untested repair method when fixing the vehicle roof after hail damage. Instead of using the welding approach recommended by vehicle manufacturer Honda, the body shop used a glue-like adhesive. 

Marcia and Matthew Seebachan were on their way to spend the 2013 Christmas holiday with family in the Texas Hill Country when they were struck by a Toyota Tundra pickup.

Todd Tracy, a Dallas attorney who specializes in vehicle safety cases, said faulty repair led to a stark difference in crash outcomes for Matthew and Marcia Seebachan. Instead of walking away from the crash unharmed, the couple suffered major burns and crushing injuries. 

Tracy said the verdict sends a strong message to repair shops: Fix vehicles properly or pay the price. "This case is bigger than money," he said. "This case is about industry-wide change.

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