A Colorado jury recently awarded a Boulder man nearly $3 million in damages in his lawsuit against the Ford Motor Company. The jury found that a defective seat in the Plaintiff’s 1998 SUV caused him serious injury during a 2009 accident.
Forrest Walker, the former owner of a physical therapy facility, was awarded $2.9 million for economic losses, non-economic losses and permanent physical impairment. Ford Motor Company says it will appeal this verdict.
According to the lawsuit filed in Boulder District Court in 2011, Walker was driving his 1998 Ford Explorer on September 20, 2009, through an intersection in Boulder when his vehicle was rear-ended. The lever-activated recliner in the seat disengaged, causing the seat to drop into a fully reclined position.
Walker was thrown head-first into the backseat of the vehicle and suffered severe upper neck injuries, as well as head trauma. The collision was not violent enough to break the back windows of the SUV, but yet the seat failed. This was a red flag for a product safety issue.
According to the complaint, Mr. Walker still experiences visual problems and some cognitive and speaking deficiencies as a result of the crash, and was forced to give up his job as a physical therapist.
Ford Motor Company’s director of corporate communications, Jay Cooney, said that the motor company would appeal the verdict.
It is ironic that Mr. Walker chose physical therapy as a career to help those suffering from injuries and now he is on the other side, as a patient, rather than the therapist.
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