Alan Thomas and Paul Malek of Huie, Fernambucq & Stewart represented Ford Motor Company in a wrongful death product liability case involving the fatality of the driver of a Mercury Mountaineer and two other injured passengers. After two hours of deliberation, a Lexington, Kentucky federal jury reached a defense verdict in favor of Ford Motor Company on May 22, 2013.
The single car crash occurred outside of Frankfort, Kentucky. The driver of the Mercury Mountaineer approached a slower moving vehicle causing the driver of the Mountaineer to swerve to the left causing the driver’s side tires to leave the roadway. The driver then overcorrected to the right and once more sharply to the left. The Mountaineer rolled over multiple times, unfortunately resulting in the death of the driver and injuring the passengers.
The plaintiffs’ attorneys contended that the Mountaineer should have had electronic stability control (ESC) in the 2004 model and had it been installed it would have prevented the crash. Ford’s defense attorneys, Alan and Paul, proved that the Mountaineer was state of the art in its technology and met all motor vehicle safety standards. Due to the speed of the vehicle and the driver’s steering, ESC would not have helped avoid the crash. Paul stated that while the crash was a tragedy, he is pleased the jury recognized that the Mercury Mountaineer was reasonably safe and was not responsible for the crash.