A jury returned a $1.7. billion verdict against the Ford Motor Company after a wreck killed a Georgia couple in 2014, the Associated Press (AP) reported Monday.
However, the company planned to appeal the verdict, according to one of its representatives.
“Jurors in Gwinnett County, just northeast of Atlanta, returned the verdict late last week in the years-long civil case involving what the plaintiffs’ lawyers called dangerously defective roofs on Ford pickup trucks, lawyer James Butler Jr. said Sunday,” the report continued.
The elderly couple, Voncile Hill and her husband Melvin Hill, died when their tire blew out and their 2002 Super Duty Ford F-250 rolled over, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Monday.
The couple were farmers traveling to pick up a part for their tractor.
“I used to buy Ford trucks,” Butler explained, adding, “I thought nobody would sell a truck with a roof this weak. The damn thing is useless in a wreck. You might as well drive a convertible.”
The company’s lawyers defended Ford’s actions and those of its engineers.
However, “Lawyers for the plaintiffs had submitted evidence of nearly 80 similar rollover wrecks that involved truck roofs being crushed that injured or killed motorists, Butler’s law firm, Butler Prather LLP, said in a statement,” the AP report noted.
Meanwhile, American auto safety regulators announced recently they were looking into a 2020 Ford recall involving cars with front brake hoses, Reuters reported August 12:
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is opening a recall query into 1.7 million U.S. Ford 2013-2018 model year Fusion and Lincoln MKZ cars after receiving 50 complaints alleging front brake hose failures. Ford recalled 488,000 Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX vehicles in 2020 in the United States for brake hose failures.
The Ford company said it would cooperate with the investigation.
“NHTSA said many complaints reported brake hoses are rupturing, leaking brake fluid and occurring with little or no warning. The safety agency said it is aware of one alleged crash as a result of a failed brake hose,” according to the outlet.
In addition, Ford was set to lay off about 3,000 workers in an effort to cut costs as it transitions to electric vehicles, a report published Monday said.