Friday March 1st, 2024 8:16AM

Mother of late hip-hop star suing automaker in death

By The Associated Press
<p>The mother of late hip-hop music star Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes is accusing an SUV automaker of ignoring warnings that the vehicle was prone to roll over.</p><p>Lopes, who was one-third of the Grammy Award-winning group TLC, died in a one-car crash in 2002. She was driving a red 2001 Mitsubishi Montero she rented while on vacation in Honduras.</p><p>Her mother, Wanda Lopes-Colemon, has filed suit in U.S. District Court in Atlanta.</p><p>The lawsuit against Japan-based Mitsubishi and its North American subsidiary claims Lopes was driving at normal speed when she swerved and her SUV flipped. A Honduras police report indicates Lopes may have been speeding, but the Lopeses' attorney says there is no evidence to support that.</p><p>"I think that's going to be hotly contested by us because of the forensics," Savannah attorney Jeff Harris, who represents Lopes' mother, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.</p><p>Consumer Reports gave the 2001 Mitsubishi Montero Limited a "not acceptable" safety rating. Harris plans to use a study on vehicle rollovers to support his claim that the company should have warned consumers about the potentially fatal design flaw.</p><p>Lopes' SUV rolled on the pavement and flipped twice more before stopping. She was thrown out of the window and died at the scene. One of the passengers, T'Melle Rawlings, has filed suit against Lopes' estate for her injuries.</p><p>Mitsubishi's attorney, Frank Faison Middleton IV of Albany, filed a reponse to the suit denying any wrongdoing on the part of the manufacturer.</p><p>Neither the Lopes' nor those suing her estate have specified how much they are seeking.</p><p>___</p><p>HASH(0x1cd9eb4)</p>
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