Derrick Thomas' mother files suit against General Motors

Wednesday, October 11th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) _ The mother of Derrick Thomas has sued General Motors Corp. over the traffic accident that resulted in the Kansas City Chiefs linebacker's death.

Edith Morgan's lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Jackson County Circuit Court, also accuses ambulance workers and an area hospital for being negligent in his care. Morgan seeks unspecified actual and punitive damages from all defendants.

Morgan wants GM to release statistics that would show Chevrolet Suburban has had many rollover and roof-crush accidents that have injured or killed occupants, said Gary C. Robb, Morgan's lawyer.

``If Derrick Thomas' death means he will save many more lives, then his death will not be in vain,'' Robb said.

GM officials declined to comment.

He said part of any damage award in the lawsuit would go to the mothers of Thomas' seven children.

Thomas was paralyzed and Michael Tellis was killed when the Suburban Thomas was driving flipped on an icy road Jan. 23. Neither victim was wearing a seat belt, and Thomas, who was thrown from the Suburban, died Feb. 8 in a Florida hospital.

According to the lawsuit, the ambulance service and hospital did not properly treat Thomas and contributed to his death.

``That's not our view of what occurred; we did everything we thought conceivably possible,'' said Joe Crossett, administrator for Liberty Hospital.