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Montlick & Associates Reports $132.5 Million Verdict in Explorer Rollover Wrongful Death Lawsuit Involving Met Prospect

February 21, 2011

A jury awarded $132.5 million in a wrongful death lawsuit for the tragic death of promising Mets prospect Brian Cole. The basis of the lawsuit was that the defective design of the Ford Explorer caused the SUV to rollover when Cole swerved to avoid another vehicle that had pulled into his lane which forced him to go onto the median before returning to the highway. The maneuver was a routine driving maneuver that is executed safely on a regular basis by drivers in other vehicles.

The Ford Explorer rolled over three and one-half times leading to Cole's death when he was ejected from the SUV. At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, we represent Georgia residents throughout the state who suffer catastrophic injuries in vehicle rollovers, including in Ford Explorer SUV rollover accidents. If you or your loved ones have suffered serious injuries or wrongful death in an Explorer SUV rollover accident that are due to a defective and unsafe design, contact us for a Free Consultation to discuss your rights to compensation.

Hundreds of deaths in the U.S. have been caused by the faulty design of Ford Explorers that make the SUV unstable and prone to rollover in emergency situations resulting in a disproportionately high number of fatalities. Ford Explorers are notoriously unstable and easily rollover when a driver is faced with sudden braking or other evasive driving maneuvers to avoid obstacles, including other vehicles or roadway hazards. Evidence was produced in Cole's wrongful death lawsuit that if the SUV had been designed three inches wider and an inch and one-half shorter it would not have rolled over. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety issued a report finding that the two-door, two-wheel drive Ford Explorer made between 1999 and 2002 had the fourth highest rate of driver death of the 47 SUVs that were part of the study. The Ford Explorer that Cole was driving was a 2001 Ford Explorer.

Another key issue in Ford Explorer rollover cases, which also was relevant in Cole's lawsuit, is defective seatbelts that do not prevent ejection during SUV rollover accidents. A memo was produced during the trial from the seatbelt manufacturer, TRW, informing Ford that the seatbelts would not function properly in a rollover accident. The faulty seatbelt resulted in Cole being ejected from the SUV during the rollover despite his wearing a seatbelt. Seatbelt failure in an SUV rollover accident often results in a high fatality rate from roof crush injuries and vehicle ejections. While only about 25 percent of fatalities in car and minivan accidents result from rollover accidents, rollover accidents account for over 59 percent of SUV fatalities.

Montlick and Associates has been representing those seriously injured or killed in Georgia SUV motor vehicle accidents for over 39 years. Our goal is to be the best personal injury lawyers in Georgia, and toward that end we work hard for our clients and are committed to providing exceptional service. Our Georgia Ford Explorer SUV rollover attorneys are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located we are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24 Hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Montlick Law

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All information provided by our blogs is general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Consult a Montlick attorney for details about your unique situation.