Product Liability

Automobiles

America's product liability laws are a powerful warning to corporate wrongdoers that they cannot market and sell products that injure or kill consumers and expect to get away with it.   Here is a brief case study of an automobile latch safety case in which a jury's verdict held an automaker responsible for marketing a car with a known defective design.

The Accident A six year old child suffered a fractured spine and paralysis when the rear seats in her mother's 2000 Lincoln LS sedan collapsed forward during a rear-end collision.   What Ford knew Ford Motor Company had known since 1993 that the latches, which permitted the Lincoln's rear seats to fold down for extra space, had defective designs that permitted the seats to collapse.   Ford changed the design for the 2001 model year, but never recalled the 2000 Sedan.

The Verdict A jury awarded significant compensatory and punitive damages.  The injured child uses a wheelchair and will need lifetime assistance to perform many living tasks.