Alabama Jury Awards $151M to Man Paralyzed in Ford Explorer Accident
DALLAS COUNTY, AL. – An Alabama jury has awarded more than $151 million to man who was paralyzed in a Ford Explorer accident, according to an online news story posted at whnt.com. The man was a passenger in an Explorer that rolled over, and he family sued Ford Motor Company for damages.*
The accident happened in August 2015 in Dallas County, Alabama. A man was riding in a 1998 Ford Explorer when the driver of the Explorer swerved to avoid hitting an animal in the road. When the driver swerved, the Explorer overturned and started rolling. The vehicle completely rolled twice and came to a stop upright in the shoulder of the roadway.
During the crash, the man became unconscious, and he suffered a severed spine. Despite emergency care, the man was left paralyzed and unable to perform any of the tasks he used to do — from work to basic daily living activities.
The man then filed a lawsuit after the accident against Ford, alleging the motor company knew that the Explorer was prone to rollovers during situations of accident avoidance, and that it withheld this information from the public while failing to mitigate the danger to consumers. During the trial, the jury heard that Ford’s Explorer had failed Consumer Union testing for rollover prevention, so Ford opted for new testing methods, rather than design changes.
The new testing used simulated models instead of real crash testing, and when it was complete, Ford got rid of the results. Ford tried to make modest changes to the Explorer at a cost significantly lower than changing the vehicle design, but these were ineffective.
At the conclusion of the trial, the Dallas County jury awarded the man $151,791,000 against Ford, including $51,791,000 as compensatory damages and $100 million in the form of punitive damages.
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