Ford Ordered to Pay $4.8 Million in Damages to Man Harmed in Ford Explorer Accident

On August 29, 2018, jurors in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas awarded damages of $4.8 million to Jose Leos-Ortiz (“Leos-Ortiz”), who had to have his arm amputated after his 1999 Ford Explorer (“Explorer”) rolled over.

After six days of testimony and four hours of deliberation, the jury decided Leos-Ortiz’s amputation was mostly caused by the type of window glass Ford Motor Co. (“Ford”) used in its Explorer model. The jury found Ford to be 90 percent liable, assigning the remaining 10 percent of liability to Leos-Ortiz.

Leos-Ortiz, formerly a welder, was left unable to work due to the injury he sustained in the June 2009 accident. He was awarded $3.3 million for past damages and an additional $1.5 million for future damages.

Counsel for Leos-Ortiz explained that if Ford had used laminated glass, which keeps broken shards intact, instead of the less expensive tempered glass, Leos-Ortiz would still have his arm. Leos-Ortiz successfully argued his sobriety at the time of the accident was immaterial, because “drunk or sober…this truck still turns over.”

The ten percent liability assigned to Leos-Ortiz was a result of the fact that he had not been diligent in maintaining the SUV, which, with over 306,000 miles, still had its original suspension system.

The legal team at Shepherd, Finkelman, Miller & Shah, LLP (“SFMS”) has significant experience litigating product liability matters. If you have any questions regarding this subject or this posting, please contact Nick Lussier (nlussier@sfmslaw.com) or Chiharu Sekino (csekino@sfmslaw.com). We can also be reached toll-free at (866) 540-5505.

SFMS is a nationwide law firm with offices in California, Connecticut, Florida, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. SFMS is an active member of Integrated Advisory Group (www.iaginternational.org), which provides us with the ability to provide our clients with access to excellent legal and accounting resources throughout the globe. For more information about SFMS, please visit us at www.sfmslaw.com.

Sources

Casady, Michelle. “Ford Hit With $4.8M Jury Award In Explorer Defect Case.” Law 360. Last modified on August 30, 2018.