March 20, 2012
Gordon Sproule and Patrick Strubel of Huie, Fernambucq & Stewart, LLP recently obtained a defense verdict for Ford Motor Company following a twenty-one day trial in The United States District Court in Jackson, Mississippi.
The case involved a roll-over accident of a Ford Expedition in which a female driver was allegedly ejected through the sunroof, suffering injuries that rendered her a paraplegic. Plaintiffs sought $15.1 million in damages.
The plaintiff alleged that the Expedition was defective in design, stating that Ford should have used properly supported, laminated glass in the sunroof of the vehicle rather than tempered glass. The plaintiff also contended that had Ford used this alternative design, the driver would not have been ejected from the Expedition and paralyzed in the crash.
Ford was able to prove that the driver was not wearing her seatbelt and that the design of the sunroof was reasonably safe and not the cause of her injuries. Barry Ford and Bill Jones of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz of Jackson, MS also represented Ford.