Jury Returns Verdict in Favor of Client Ford Motor Co.
December 19, 2008
A jury in St. Louis County recently returned a defense verdict for firm client Ford Motor Co. The plaintiff in the case, Jeanne Moore, was left paralyzed when her 2002 Ford Explorer was hit from behind in a 2005 traffic accident.
The case centered on the design and engineering of the 2002 Explorer seat, a perimeter frame seat designed to yield under severe forces to absorb energy and improve occupant protection. Moore claimed that the seat was defective and unreasonably dangerous and that its design was responsible for her spinal fracture. Moore sought $15 million from Ford.
Ford was represented by St. Louis Partners Dan Ball and Stephen Strauss. The two-and-a-half-week trial involved 28 witnesses, crash test dummies, car seats and half of a Ford Explorer. After 25 minutes of deliberation, the jury returned with a verdict for Ford Motor Co.
“Ford’s seats are tested to a higher standard than any in the world,” Ball said. “In all 1.6 million Explorers and (Lincoln) Aviator and (Mercury) Mountaineer models with the same seat design concept, there was not a single person in a car like this, in an accident like this, with an injury like this. This was a very rare case.”