Gloria Levesque is getting her day in court today. Gloria was catastrophically injured in an auto accident when the Ford Expedition she was a passenger in rolled over and the roof caved in crushing her. As a result of the roof crushing in on her, Gloria suffered severe head and spinal injuries. She is permanently disabled.
The auto product liability lawsuit, Gloria Levesque vs. Ford Motor Company, started today, December 3, 2007, in Los Angeles Superior Court, Central District, before the Honorable Ricardo Torres. Brian Chase, my partner and chief litigator for the firm, is heading Gloria’s trial team.
Mr. Chase will offer evidence that Ford knowingly manufactured and sold the Ford Expedition sport utility vehicle (SUV) with a defective roof that collapses during rollover accidents. Gloria Levesque, was permanently paralyzed on July 25, 2003 when the Expedition she was a passenger in swerved to avoid a collision with a big rig and the Expedition rolled over several times. During the rollover, the roof crushed inward, causing her permanent head and spinal injuries.
We have been gathering evidence on this case and doing testing of the Ford Expedition for two years. I believe that the evidence will show that Ford knowingly chose corporate profits over the safety of their SUV’s occupants. Could it be that an American auto maker would willingly ignore known catastrophic injury problems of their SUV just to improve their profits?
“Ford clearly put profit before people,” says Brian Chase. “This is another example of an auto maker profiting from the production of a vehicle known to have serious and life threatening defects. For only $30, Ford could have easily strengthened their SUV’s roof structure to withstand these types of rollover roof failures.
If only Ford had strengthened the Expeditions’ roof structure along the lines that some of their engineers suggested, Gloria Levesque would be teaching at her Montessori school as she had for the past 25 years. Instead she is unemployed, permanently disabled, and catastrophically injured.
Our case against Ford alleges that Ford manipulates the general public into believing that their large SUVs are safer compared to other vehicles while knowing that their SUVs have one of the highest rates of rollover injuries and deaths of any vehicle on the road today.
“Ford’s SUVs are not built strong enough to protect the front seat occupants from being catastrophically injured during a rollover, says Brian Chase. “Ford knows this and have for years. However, Ford chooses to ignore this inherent safety problem in order to save $30 per vehicle.”
A jury of 12 Southern Californians are going to decide if Gloria’s claims are true and weather she deserves compensation from Ford. Hooray for our justice system that gives a school teacher nearly equal standing as Ford, to present her grievances, to request Ford be held accountable and that justice be done.
Regardless of the outcome of this trial, please pray for Gloria and her family. Her paralysis and brain injury have turned her into a shadow of who she was and put a enormous strain on her family to take care of her. They could use your prayers and well wishes.