Tesla was sued Tuesday by the family of a passenger who was killed in a 2018 crash that his estate alleges was due to a defective battery, attorneys said
Chicago law firm Corboy & Demetrio filed a product liability and negligence suit against the automaker over the death of Edgar Monserratt Martinez, a passenger of Barrett Riley who also was killed in the May 2018 Florida crash.
Witnesses told investigators the Tesla driver lost control of the vehicle while trying to pass another car.
The vehicle then crossed a sidewalk and hit a wall, erupting in flames, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.
The suit alleges the Tesla battery was inadequately protected, making the vehicle defective.
"The Tesla S battery was prone to extremely intense fires incapable of being timely extinguished," said Philip Corboy Jr, a partner at the firm.
The lawsuit also alleges that Riley's family had installed equipment to prevent the car from riding more than 85 miles per hour but that the device was removed at another Tesla service center without the family's knowledge.
The car was traveling 116 miles per hour (186 kilometers per hour) shortly before the accident, according to a NTSB preliminary investigation report in June 2018.
Tesla did not immediately respond to requests for comment.