As Law.com reports, a federal jury in Tulsa has just condemned Ford to pay $15 million to the parents of a teenage driver whose Explorer rolled over during a reckless manoeuver.
Tyler Moody, 18, was killed Jan. 7, 2003, when he lost control of the sport utility vehicle while he was passing another vehicle in a no passing zone on a curve. The SUV left the road and rolled at least 1 1/2 times, coming to rest on its roof.
The plaintiffs’ own accident reconstruction expert testified that Moody was traveling at about 67 mph through the curve, according to Eagan’s Nov. 14 order.
The posted speed limit on the road was 50 mph but as vehicles entered the curve, another sign advised drivers of the curve and stated “30 mph.”
Kevin Moody and Veronica Moody alleged in their lawsuit that “because the defective vehicle had an inadequate roof-crush tolerance,” Tyler Moody was trapped within the Explorer “and his neck was pushed into his chest by the intruding roof at a precipitous angle.”
Plaintiffs claimed that the roof of the Explorer collapsed when the vehicle went through what he termed a relatively slow, easy roll.
Ford’s attorney responded that the vehicle exceeded federal standards. She said 98 percent of seat-belted SUV riders who are in rollover accidents are not seriously injured. She said there was no doubt that Moody was by all accounts “a great kid,” but on the day of the accident he made “bad decisions that had fatal consequences.”
The jury deliberated for only three hours on Nov. 20 before delivering its verdict of actual or compensatory damages of $15 million.
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