Partner James Lowe won a $10.4 million verdict in Palm Beach County, Florida, against Ford Motor Company, for their client who was paralyzed by a defective seat in a Ford Explorer.
On October 30, 2001, the client, age 60, was properly seat belted and operating her 2000 Ford Explorer. While stopped and waiting to turn left into her tennis club, her vehicle was struck from behind by a Toyota Solara, traveling at approximately 60 miles per hour. The teeth on the recliner mechanism gears stripped and sheared off, and the client’s seat collapsed onto the rear seat, allowing her to be thrown out of her seatbelt into the rear seatback where she suffered a severely fractured cervical spine, leaving her a quadriplegic.
The jury found that Ford Motor Company had placed the Explorer on the market with a defect in the seat design which was a legal cause of the Plaintiff’s severe injuries. The unanimous verdict awarded $1 million to her husband for his losses, and $9.4 million to the client.
The jury of five men and one woman deliberated for a total of approximately 11 hours over three days before returning their verdict for the Plaintiffs.
A 27 year old graduate student sustained a permanent, catastrophic brain injury when the Ontel Products Corporation’s Iron Gym exercise bar he was using to do pull-ups during breaks from studying fell from its mounting, sending him crashing to the floor and striking his head. Prior to trial, the parties settled for a confidential amount.
While driving her vehicle on the highway, with her two-month old daughter in a car seat behind her, plantiff was struck from behind by a pickup truck hauling a trailer loaded with thousands of pounds of steel. Her vehicle erupted in flames. Bystanders and the truck driver pulled the woman to safety, but were unable to rescue the infant who was consumed in the fire. Prior to trial, the parties settled with various parties and insurers for confidential amounts.
The client suffered major injuries when, as she was entering her office parking garage, her vehicle suddenly accelerated and struck a concrete wall. Her airbag failed to deploy and her seatbelt failed to lock, allowing her to be thrown violently into the steering wheel and instrument panel. Her injuries restricted her from being able to return to work. The parties reached a confidential settlement.
The plaintiff represents a certified nationwide class of heavy and medium truck dealers who alleged that Ford Motor Co. breached their franchise agreements by failing to publish wholesale truck prices as required. The first trial resulted in a judgment for approximately $2 billion. That result was reversed on appeal and the case was retried, resulting in a defense verdict which is currently pending a motion for a new trial.
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