Safelite and Fuyao Embroiled in Wrongful Death Lawsuit

A Pennsylvania man has filed a wrongful death and products liability lawsuit against Safelite, Fuyao Glass America Inc. and former Safelite technician Kenneth Hedgespeth for the death of his wife, Cara Mia Francesca Panichelli.

Anthony Panichelli’s wife, Cara Mia Francesca, passed away June 12, 2023, after a piece of metal pierced her windshield and struck her as she drove along Interstate 95 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Anthony Panichelli claims that his late wife’s windshield, which was allegedly manufactured by Fuyao Glass America, purchased from Safelite and installed by then-Safelite employee Kenneth Hedgespeth, was “defective” and caused her death.

Anthony Panichelli has made wrongful death and survival claims as well as strict products liability and negligence claims against all the defendants, asking damages of more than $50,000 for each count in his complaint.

He filed the complaint against the defendants around February 19, 2024. The case was slated to take place in the Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia County, but Safelite’s legal counsel has requested that it be moved to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania because the defendants are located in multiple states.

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4 Responses to Safelite and Fuyao Embroiled in Wrongful Death Lawsuit

  1. Richard Lytle says:

    I have been doing auto glass installations for 45 years and during that time I have seen everything from an eagle to a leaf spring go through windshields. Most of them had never been replaced before I worked on them and as much as I do not care for Safelite, the installer should not be at fault. Metal is a solid and glass is a liquid. What would you presume to be stronger? This should be thrown out of court. Im sure the installer hasnt slept a wink since that nightmare began and it is not right. I feel terrible for the husband and family of the woman that passed away but I think he’s pulling at straws on this one.

  2. Kerry Soat says:

    I don’t believe windshields are bulletproof or metal proof as in this case. This case won’t get very far. Metal poles, large rocks, deer, etc can all go through a windshield. No liability here. And I’ve been here 50 years this year.

  3. Barrett says:

    Repairers can use aftermarket parts if they so chose… however they must live with their choice to do so should something like this occur.
    OEM parts may fail as well but it will be on them if the installation was done correctly.
    I don’t see taking the chance ) and liabilities) merely to save an insurer money when they, the insurer has no liability for what the service provider chooses.

  4. Dave Clark says:

    Terrible situation for the woman’s family for sure. I am guessing they couldn’t pinpoint the source of the metal object that did the damage, so the next idea was to blame the windshield, seeking compensation? I have a feeling the attorney chasing this particular ambulance will be disappointed in the end.

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