Jury awards family more than $120 million in lawsuit against Audi

Family claims driver's seat defective in crash

SAN ANTONIO – A jury on Wednesday awarded a San Antonio family just under $125 million in their civil suit against Audi and a driver.

Just over three years ago, Jesse Rivera Jr., who was 7 at the time, was critically injured when the Audi he was riding in was rear-ended.

His father was driving Jesse and his brother to school when they were hit by Gloria Cordova. Jesse was left partially paralyzed and blind in one eye after the crash.

Jesse's parents sued Audi and Cordova. The family claimed that the driver's seat Jesse's father was sitting in was defective. They claimed the defective seat allowed the father's head to strike Jesse's, causing the injuries.

"We truly, truly hope that this leads to consideration by the auto manufacturer to study and control their seats so that this never ever happens to another child or another family," Fidel Rodriguez Jr. said on behalf of the family.

The father and Jesse's brother were not seriously injured in the crash.

During closing arguments, lawyers for the auto maker said the seats met industry standards. They said that Cordova is responsible for the crash and suggested that the child was not properly restrained.

The family was originally asking for $164 million.