Ford Motor Company has agreed to an out-of court settlement in an automobile defect/rollover accident case that we have been pursuing for our client, Gloria Levesque. She was seriously injured in a Ford Expedition rollover accident five years ago and rendered quadriplegic. The initial trial in Los Angeles Superior Court lasted three weeks and ended in a hung jury last December.
Of course, we’re pleased that Ford decided to settle with our client for an amount that is being kept confidential pursuant to Ford’s condition of settlement. But the more important fact in this case is that Ford’s top officials know – and have known for a very long time – that the roofs of their sport utility vehicles leave much to be desired in terms of strength. What happened to our client has happened to thousands of others.
The roofs of Ford’s SUVs such as the Explorer and Expedition are made so weak that they cave in during a rollover accident. Gloria’s accident happened on the 5 Freeway in Fresno County. She was a passenger in the vehicle. The driver swerved to avoid a collision, lost control of the vehicle, which rolled over many times. The Expedition roof collapsed and crushed inward causing her severe head and spinal injuries leaving her quadriplegic.
This is a classic case of Ford putting their financial interests ahead of consumer safety. They could have made that roof withstand a rollover accident for as little as $30, about what they charge for a chrome exhaust tip! How many unnecessary deaths has such skimping caused? Had Ford been a little more safety conscious Gloria would still have full use of her arms and legs. Now, she needs full-time care for the rest of her life and has no capacity to be employed. The settlement funds will help but they will not restore what she lost.
We consider this a victory for our client and more importantly, for justice. It’s cases such as these that constantly sound the warning bell to manufacturers such as Ford that they will be held accountable for the decisions they make in the board room.