Felipe v. Ford


06/18/07 – 07/25/07

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Automotive product liability based on seat belt-wearing plaintiff who suffered broken neck and paralyzation after vehicle roof was crushed in 1993 Ford Aerostar rollover accident.

On August 3, 2002, the Ford Aerostar suffered a tire blowout while traveling approximately 65 mph on I-75, and the vehicle rolled over, and broke the 17-year old plaintiff's neck (burst fracture) at C-5, leaving him paralyzed.

The plaintiff was seated in the front passenger seat, and wearing a seat belt. The non-belted occupants were not seriously injured in the crash. The plaintiff asserted that the failure of the Ford's safety restraint system and the Ford's roof protection system caused the plaintiff's injuries.

According to the plaintiff, Ford's engineers knew in 1968 that shoulder belts would leave passengers at greater risk of injury in a rollover accident unless the roof strength were twice the weight of the vehicle. Nonetheless, Ford characterized the Aerostar's seat safety as "one of the most effective protection devices in existence."

The jury found that the Aerostar's roof (but not the seat belt) was defective, and awarded a total damages of $6 million, but did not award punitive damages.


Plaintiff's verdict for $6 million.


AM Session
3 Chapters

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