Ford Blamed For F-350 Roof-Crush Accident
This is a common lawsuit filed against the manufacturers of pickup trucks and full-size SUVs. The allegations are similar in every case. The vehicle was involved in an accident, rolled over, and the weight of the vehicle caused the cabin to cave in killing the driver and anyone inside. Today, the problem is well-known, so vehicle manufacturers are expected to design cabins that can support the weight of an upended vehicle. However, this vehicle was manufactured in 2001.
According to the lawsuit, the driver hit a curve which caused the vehicle to roll over. In the process, the weight of the vehicle crushed the cabin, causing the driver’s death. Had the cabin been able to support the weight of the vehicle, the driver would still be alive. However, the vehicle was 16 years old at the time of the accident. Ford will claim the woman’s own negligence caused the accident, while elements of product liability could cost Ford some money regardless.
Super Duty Class Action
At present, there are 5.2 million Fords believed to have the defect that allows roof crush accidents. Newer models, however, don’t have the problem. Ford was forced to pay $1.7 billion in punitive damages for failing to issue the recall sooner. The class represents vehicles spanning 1999 to 2016 and including the Super Duty models. Ford is accused of failing to conduct testing on their roofs prior to making the vehicle available on the market.
However, at the time Ford manufactured the vehicle, “Super Duty” trucks were excluded from requirements related to roof testing. Further, at the time, Ford was lobbying against a requirement to include Super Duty trucks in roof crush requirements. Ultimately, numerous reports of deaths and roof crush accidents caused the lobbying effort to falter. Instead, Ford is facing 162 lawsuits and 83 unlitigated reports of roof crush incidents.
Punitive damages are awarded when a company knew about a potentially dangerous defect in one of its products and did not act quickly enough to fix the issue. Ford only moved to fix the issue after its lobbying efforts failed and Super Duty trucks were included in the standards for roof strength.
Ultimately, Ford is in the position of fighting against regulations that would have saved the lives of numerous people who were killed in their vehicles. Now, they’re in the position of paying punitive damages on lawsuits for wrongful deaths that could have been prevented simply by adhering to the higher standard. Ultimately, it looks as if Ford wants the right to shirk safety standards in order to save a few bucks regardless of the toll it takes in human lives.
Talk to a Florida Product Liability Lawyer Today
Halpern, Santos & Pinkert help Florida residents file product liability lawsuits against major corporations. Call our Florida personal injury lawyers today to schedule a free consultation and we can discuss your case in greater detail.