— An OnStar lawsuit alleges 80-year-old South Carolina resident Mary Ann Elvington was killed because OnStar allegedly refused to provide important safety information to her family.
On March 28, 2021, Dominique Devonah Brand kidnapped Elvington from her home in Horry County South Carolina. Brand forced Mary Ann into her 2012 Buick Lacrosse which was equipped with the OnStar system.
Brand ordered Elvington to drive him from Horry County to Waccamaw, North Carolina and then back to South Carolina.
Elvington's adult children became concerned because Mary Ann and her vehicle were missing. Her son, Harold Elvington, says he contacted his mother who told him she was in her Buick but she could not provide her location or where she was going.
Harold Elvington says he then contacted OnStar and reported that his mother was in danger and needed help immediately.
"Harold Elvington requested Defendant OnStar immediately provide the location of Decedent’s vehicle to him or to law enforcement. Defendant OnStar refused to provide the location of Decedent’s vehicle to Harold Elvington or law enforcement."
However, OnStar placed a three-way call to the Buick vehicle and told Mary Ann that other people were trying to find her. She confirmed she was in her Buick but she had no idea where she was or where she was going. OnStar asked her if she would pull over and contact the police but Mary Ann failed to respond.
According to the wrongful death lawsuit, "OnStar terminated the call and discontinued aid to Decedent."
Harold Elvington alleges he repeatedly asked OnStar to provide him the location of the Buick Lacrosse but OnStar refused. Harold Elvington says OnStar also allegedly refused to provide the vehicle location to law enforcement.
The lawsuit alleges Dominique Devonah Brand heard every word of the conversations which increased the risk of harm to Mary Ann Elvington.
Mary Ann was driving her vehicle toward home before OnStar made a call to the vehicle, but after that Brand forced her into the rear of the Buick.
Brand allegedly entered the driver's seat and made a U-turn away from Elvington's home, something OnStar allegedly tracked but didn't share with Harold Elvington or law enforcement.
In addition, the lawsuit claims the chief of police of the town of Nichols, South Carolina contacted OnStar about Mary Ann and the urgent circumstances of the situation. However, OnStar allegedly refused to provide the location of the Buick.
Dominique Devonah Brand subsequently murdered Mary Ann Elvington as her children and the authorities tried to locate her and her vehicle.
On September 15, 2022, "Brand was convicted of Kidnapping Resulting in Death, Carjacking Resulting in Death, and Using or Carrying a Firearm and in Relation to a Crime of Violence in a Manner Constituting Murder."
The OnStar lawsuit was filed in the Court of Common Pleas for the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit for the County of Horry, State of South Carolina: Margaret Golda King, as Personal Representative of the Estate of Mary Ann Elvington, v. OnStar, LLC, and Dominique Devonah Brand.
The plaintiff is represented by Pierce, Sloan, Kennedy & Early LLC, and the Law Office of L. Morgan Martin.