DAVIE (CBSMiami) – The widow of a man killed when flames engulfed his Tesla has filed a lawsuit against the company.
Dr. Liliana Awan spoke on Monday about her life with her husband Dr. Omar Awan. The two had 5 children ages 6 to 17.
Omar was killed last February when his Tesla S crashed and caught on fire on Flamingo Road in Davie.
Police said he was traveling at up to 75 mph.
“He’s not going to be at their weddings or at their graduation or at their firstborn child – that will never happen,” Liliana said. “I am it for my kids, they have nothing, no one else.”
Attorney Stuart Grossman filed a lawsuit on behalf of the family.
He said Omar died from smoke inhalation after the lithium-ion battery caught on fire.
He alleges Omar could not get out of the car because of the door handle design.
An off-duty officer saw the crash and tried to help immediately.
“I’m sure the doctor was trying to, from the inside, to get out. He couldn’t,” Grossman said. “From the outside the handles did not emerge, they stayed with in the body itself, so no one could open the doors, and that’s unacceptable.
The suit alleges that the Tesla S is a “…death trap” and that Awan’s car was “defective and unreasonably dangerous…” citing “…door locks were defective…” and the “…battery was inherently unstable and subject to explosion and spontaneous fire.”
“I want Tesla to recognize the faults of the car and improve the faults of the car and the safety to prevent people from dying and leaving behind families,” Liliana said.
A similar crash killed two teens in May of 2018 in Fort Lauderdale.
The family of Barrett Riley filed a lawsuit.
In that case, investigators say, the car was going more than 115 mph as a rounded a curve on A1A and then crashed, bursting into flames.
The family cites the battery in their suit and also alleges the door handle issue prevented anyone from opening the car to get the victims out.