$53 Million Verdict Against Ford Motor Company

On June 23, 2002, Eileen and Todd Robinson and their 5-month-old son were involved in a single-car collision. Their 1997 Ford Explorer hydroplaned into a guardrail on I-75 near Lake City, Florida.

Eileen Robinson, a 28-year-old schoolteacher was sitting in the back seat with her seatbelt on, next to her son in his cars seat. During the crash, the seatbelt and seat back failed, causing Mrs. Robinson to be ejected headfirst from the rear windshield of the vehicle.  Although she survived, she sustained a traumatic brain injury, as well as other serious bodily injuries, including nerve damage, speech and hearing loss, vision impairment, collapsed lung, anterior cruciate ligament tear, ulnar nerve damage.

A product liability lawsuit was filed against Ford, alleging that its 1997 Ford Explorer had a defectively designed and manufactured seat and seatbelt and that the design of the location of the center of gravity in the vehicle made the Explorer defectively unstable.

After a four-week trial, the jury returned a $53 million verdict, finding Ford strictly liable for all claims. The verdict included damages for Mrs. Robinson’s past and future medical expenses, wage loss and loss of earning capacity, as well as more than $41 million in non-economic damages for both Mrs. Robinson and her husband, 28-year-old husband. The damages will be critical in the future treatment of Eileen’s permanent medical conditions and disability and support for the family.

The damages award will provide for the future care and treatment of Mrs. Robinson’s permanent medical conditions and her disability, as well as support for the Robinson family.

How can something like this happen when the passenger is secured by their seatbelt? Feel free to comment on this blog post. You can contact one of our Gacovino Lake attorneys at 1-800-246-HURT (4878) for more information.

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