Skip to comments.Ford Ordered to Pay $31 Million in Rollover Case (Because Glass Breaks in Rollover)
Posted on 03/03/2005 7:56:48 AM PST by naturalized
A Texas jury has found Ford Motor Co. liable for a rollover accident involving a Ford Explorer in another legal setback for the manufacturer of America's most popular sport utility vehicle.
On Tuesday, the jury in Zavala County District Court ordered Ford to pay $31 million in compensatory damages in the case, Ford spokeswoman Kathleen Vokes said.
(Excerpt) Read more at reuters.com ...
During the trial, the lover of one of the plaintiffs' lawyers was thrown off the jury, but the judge failed to declare a mistrial.
And there is no need for tort reform...GO BUSH
Gee, imagine that. The glass broke when the SUV rolled over. I'm shocked.
The glass breaks when you get drunk and roll your vehicle?
Who'd of thunk it?
This makes the case for tort reform.
Now we're gonna need to wear seatbelts while sitting in the jury box too! :-)
Jurors were all members of the U.N.
The standard of a safe vehicle has never been one that preserves your life no matter what happens or how stupid you drive.
To say the side glass shouldn't break is crazy. If we made it unbreakable (and added another 100 pounds to vehicle weight) some plaintiff lawyer would then sue for the dead woman in Ted Kennedy's car who drowned as she couldn't break the glass and get out.
No no no! Just ask some of our lawyer friends on FR, there aren't really any overly lavish awards being handed out in tort cases. Everything's just fiiiiiine. Go back to sleep now. That's it. All better.
A Texas jury found Ford Motor Co. liable for $31 million for the deaths of two 19-year-old women in an Explorer rollover accident.
The women, Corina Garcia and Diana Alicia Alonzo, were ejected from a 2000 Explorer in which they were passengers when it turned over in May 2003 outside San Antonio. Their families sued Ford, alleging that the company should have used stronger glass in the vehicle.
"Ford's body-engineering office did a cost evaluation, and their own documents showed this would cost only $6 to $10 a car," said Mikal Watts of Corpus Christi, Texas, the lawyer for the women's families.
On Tuesday, the Crystal City jury found Ford 90 percent liable for the $31 million. It assigned 10 percent of the responsibility to the driver of the Explorer. Under Texas law on liability, Ford must pay the entire amount because it was found more than 50 percent responsible, and the driver has no assets, Watts said. The verdict is the third against Ford in an Explorer rollover lawsuit. The company won the first 13 to go to trial before losing a $369-million jury verdict in San Diego in June.
CRYSTAL CITY, Texas - A Zavala County jury has hit Ford Motor Co. with a $28 million verdict in a fatal rollover, despite evidence that the driver had been drinking before the accident and was driving at an unsafe speed.
The decision, reached in just six hours Tuesday and approved by 10 of the 11 jurors, awarded another $3 million in damages against Saul Guerrero Jr., who was behind the wheel of the 2000 Explorer at the time of the May 2003 crash.
Corina Garcia and Diana Alicia Alonzo, both 19, were thrown from the vehicle and killed. Passenger Arturo Guerrero, 18, and driver Saul Guerrero Jr., 19, were also ejected but not seriously injured.
The jury found Ford 90 percent responsible for the deaths, and Guerrero Jr. 10 percent responsible.
Plaintiff's lawyers had wanted up to $100 million in damages, arguing most of the blame lay with the automaker for using tempered side glass despite learning more than 30 years ago that laminated glass reduced the risk of passengers being ejected in a wreck.
"Saul Guerrero caused the accident but Ford caused the injury and the deaths," attorney Mikal Watts told jurors in closing arguments. "The evidence is overwhelming that a safer alternative design existed. It would have cost them $6 to $10 a car."
Ford lawyers said the vehicle glass met all safety standards. The company now uses laminated side glass in some of its more expensive models - but they said increased safety isn't the main reason.
"The impairment of the driver caused the accident. He was driving too fast on a caliche road at 2:30 in the morning, and no one was wearing seat belts," lawyer J.R. Rodriguez said. "Ninety-eight percent of the people walk away from rollover accidents if they are wearing seat belts."
The trial was interrupted last week when Ford lawyers discovered one of the jurors, Diana Palacios, was the girlfriend of plaintiffs' lawyer Jesse Gamez. In a hearing over a defense request for a mistrial, evidence was presented that Palacios, the Crystal City city manager, had also solicited two of the plaintiffs for Gamez to represent.
After refusing to grant a mistrial, Judge Amado Abascal removed Palacios. Another juror was excused at the same time because of a death in the family, and both sides agree to continue with only 11 members. The trial lasted two weeks.
Crystal City is 95 miles southwest of San Antonio.
Tort reform or idiot jury reform? What we have here is the results of the MSM campaign against SUV's
What federal law do you propose to prevent this kind of abusive verdict?
Is there anything to the temepered glass argument? After all, subsequently manufactured vehicles of the same type were equipped with it...
How much did the lawyer of this accident get? Should have sued the SUV since it was the one that decided to roll over. The driving drunk, fast driving, broken glass etc. was not the fault of the human.
America the Ridiculous. Why would anybody even desire to manufacture or sell any product that has the slightest chance of causing any type of mishap.
See tagline! It's not special for this thread, either.
My mom's friend's daughter was carpooling with a guy who refused to wear a seatbelt in her car. They wrecked and he made a lot of cash for his injuries, even though he would have probably been unharmed if he had worn one and let me repeat, HE REFUSED TO WEAR ONE!
Actions, meet consequences, I think you two may have met somewhere before, a long, long time ago.
tempered glass is significantly stronger than laminated. Laminated will crack and shatter, but will stay together. However, since it is not locked into the frame by adhesive or gasket, it will simply fold over because the laminate is simply a thin piece of plastic (polyvinylbuterate)
Some luxury cars are now using laminated glass on side windows. This is for acoustic reasons, not safety.
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