A six-person jury in Palm Beach, Florida, deliberated for nearly 11 hours over three days, before finding that Ford Motor Co. should pay $10.4 million after the woman became paralyzed as a result of a defective seat in her Ford Explorer, according to an article in the Palm Beach Post.
Donna Grimes said the decision was a victory for her husband. He has long believed that the flaws in the design of her Ford Explorer seat caused her neck to snap during her 2001 crash, which left her a quadriplegic; putting an end to the couple’s once-active lifestyle. The couple says this money will go toward paying Donna’s mounting medical bills.
Grimes’ accident occurred about six years ago when the driver of a Toyota Solara rear-ended her Explorer at 60 mph. The driver of the Toyota walked away from the crash, but Grimes’ seat collapsed jettisoning her into the back seat. Their lawsuit stated that the Explorer seats fail in rear-end collisions causing horrible injuries and even deaths because they are not strong enough to absorb the impact of the crash.
The plaintiffs’ attorney says the problem is that the federal government does not mandate strong seats encouraging auto makers such as Ford to continue making weak, defective seats. But Ford’s attorney disagreed stating that “there was no defect at all in the seat.” Ford attorneys maintained during the month-long trial that the severity of the crash was what caused Donna Grimes’ injuries. Ford intends to appeal the jury’s verdict. Grimes’ first trial in 2005 had ended in a hung jury.
It’s really sad that this woman and her husband will have to continue fighting even after this victory. Ford is going to appeal the decision and will continue to deny that their Explorer or Escort seats are no better than lawn chairs. They won’t admit that their Ford Explorers tip over even at slow speeds and will try to tell you that their SUV roofs don’t crush and cave in when these vehicles roll over. Deny, deny, deny – that’s always been Ford’s mantra.
We’ve represented numerous victims of this very poorly manufactured Ford vehicle and won a “confidential” amount for our clients. If you or a loved one has been injured in an automobile accident call me. If you need a consultation regarding a vehicle defect resulting in a serious injury, call me, John Bisnar of Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys, 800-259-6373.