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Maryland Auto Accidents, Product Liability, and Ford’s $1.94 Billion Verdict

As was widely reported, Ford Motor Company was punished by a jury to the tune of $1.94 billion in a case involving a horrific and tragic roll-over crash of an F-250 pickup truck in 2014. See the UK Daily Mail media report here. The case involved a pair of Georgia siblings whose parents were both killed in the accident. The pickup truck blew a tire which caused the rollover. During the rollover, the roof of the F-250 collapsed and crumpled, causing injuries to both parents that ultimately led to their deaths. Among other things, the case against Ford was based on product liability. That is, Ford was accused of improperly designing the truck to make the truck as safe as commercially possible. According to the media report, the defect was that the roof of the truck crumpled so easily that the parents “might as well have been driving a convertible.”

Here in Waldorf, MD, and elsewhere in Southern Maryland, we have similar types of product liability laws that can enable victims of tragic Maryland auto accidents to recover compensation for their injuries and fatalities. If you have been injured or there has been a fatality in your family because of an auto accident in Waldorf, Maryland, contact us here at the Law Office of Robert Castro. Our number is (301) 705-5137. We are experienced and top-tier Maryland car and auto accident attorneys with extensive experience serving our clients in Charles, Prince George’s, and Calvert counties.

There are several notable things about the Georgia Ford truck case. First, like Maryland auto accidents, it is possible to sue for compensation in a single-vehicle accident if it can be shown that there were design, manufacturing, or repair defects that caused the accident and resulting injuries. So, even in single-accident crashes, an injured party should NEVER assume that compensation cannot be obtained. Indeed, in the Georgia Ford truck case, there were two targets of the case: Ford and Pep Boys. Pep Boys was sued based on mistakenly installing wrong-size tires for the truck.

Further, even in Maryland multiple vehicle accidents, it is important to evaluate whether other parties might be at fault. Often, Maryland auto accidents involve two or more vehicles. Generally, the prime target of settlement negotiations or a Maryland personal injury lawsuit is the at-fault driver. But experienced Waldorf car accident attorneys will look beyond the obvious at-fault driver and evaluate whether there might be other at-fault parties (like the vehicle manufacturer or a repair shop).

The size of the jury verdict is also noteworthy. Most of the $1.94 billion assessed against Ford was in punitive damages. As reported, the jury first awarded $24 million in compensatory damages (which was apportioned 70 percent against Ford and 30 percent against Pep Boys. At a later stage in the case, the jury then awarded $1.7 billion in punitive damages. Here in Maryland, juries have the same ability to award punitive damages. Here in Maryland, like in Georgia, there is no statutory cap on the amount of punitive damages that can be awarded.

Finally, as reported, dozens of similar cases have been filed against Ford for this and other defects in its Ford F-250 pickup truck. If you have suffered an injury in an F-250 pickup truck, call us.

Contact Waldorf, MD Personal Injury Attorney Robert Castro Today

This article has been provided by the Law Office of Robert Castro. For more information or questions contact our office to speak to an experienced Maryland personal injury lawyer at (301) 870-1200. We are Waldorf, MD Personal Injury lawyers. Our address is 2670 Crain Highway, Waldorf, MD 20601.