A Florida jury Monday found Tesla one percent negligent in a 2018 high speed crash that killed 18-year-old Barrett Riley after Tesla disabled Riley’s speed limiter without permission from his parents. James and Jenny Riley requested that a device that limits the car’s top speed to 85 miles per hour be installed after their son had received a speeding ticket.
James Riley, father of Barrett Riley, sued Tesla in 2020 seeking damages for the death of their son. Riley’s parents claimed that if they had known the speed limiter was disabled they wouldn’t have let their son drive the car. The suit also claimed that the car’s lithium batteries were faulty, but that charge did not succeed in court.
Tesla was found one percent negligent, Barrett Riley was found 90% negligent, and James Riley was found nine percent negligent.
The jury awarded Jenny Riley $6 million in damages and James Riley $4.5 million in damages. Although the court can make deductions from Mr. Riley’s reward since he was found negligent.
Barrett Riley was killed after the Tesla Model S he was driving accelerated to 116 miles per hour and lost control. The car crashed into a wall causing the lithium batteries to catch fire. Riley was killed by the fire.