Nearly six years after the deaths of sisters Jackie and Raechel Houck in a traffic accident, an Alameda County, Calif., jury awarded their parents $15 million on June 9 in a lawsuit against Enterprise Rent A Car.
The two women died in a head-on traffic collision with an 18-wheeler on the 101 north highway near King City, Calif., on Oct. 2, 2004.
In the lawsuit, Enterprise claimed the deaths were the result of Raechel's bad or negligent driving.
However, the Houcks' defense lawyer, Larry Grassini, said the rental car company's Capitola, Calif., branch was negligent in handling a vehicle safety recall of a 2004 Chrysler PT Cruiser, which was rented to the two women.
According to the lawsuit, the branch was notified a month before that the vehicle had a safety recall. The repair, which required the replacement of a power steering hose that could leak and ignite on a catalytic converter, causing a fire under the hood, was never made.