Sometimes victory does taste sweet, and other times it tastes like $18.3 million. Subtle’s Dax Pierson was severely injured three years ago in a car accident, when his seat dislocated from the rest of the band’s E-350 van. Subtle was starting a tour to support A New White that was to take them through the States and Europe, when their vehicle hit a patch of black ice and flipped over twice in rural Iowa in February 2005.
While the rest of his band mates escaped relatively unscathed from the collision, Pierson suffered enough nerve damage to become a quadriplegic. The accident launched him, still attached in his seat via a seat belt, headfirst and upwards into the roof of the car.
Yesterday, a San Francisco judge found Ford, the car company who made Subtle’s touring van, at fault for injuries sustained by Pierson. According to his lawyers, the 38 year-old, who had played keys in the band, is still contributing to Subtle albums, yet requires 24-hour assistance. The multiple fractures to his spine have left him paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair.
Ford’s counterargument for their product being faulty was that driver Patrick Scott, Subtle’s manager, was driving too fast the night of the accident. The jury, however, sided with Pierson and his lawyers.
"The main problem was the seat," said Thomas Brandi, a lawyer for Pierson, as quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle