Ford Roof Collapse Lawsuits
The Hill family has been awarded $1.7 billion in punitive damages from Ford Motor Co. after Melvin and Voncile Hill were killed when the roof of their Ford F-250 collapsed during a rollover accident. The roof, which is standard for 5.2 million Ford trucks, was the main factor in these deaths.
In April 2014, Melvin and Voncile Hill were killed when the roof of their 2002 Ford F-250 Super Duty truck collapsed during a rollover accident.
Adam and Kim Hill, the children of the deceased, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Ford Motor Co. on their behalf alleging Ford F-250 pickup trucks were equipped with “dangerously defective roofs.”
On August 19, 2022, the Hill family was awarded $1.7 billion in punitive damages from Ford Motor Co. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that this verdict is the largest awarded in Georgia state history.
The family was previously awarded $24 million in compensatory damages.
Attorney Joe Marasco sees the verdict as a win for personal injury victims everywhere.
“The recent jury verdict involving a Ford F-250, whose roof collapsed in a single-vehicle rollover, is a great example of a family who obtained justice against a large corporation who, for years, has put profits over people,” said Mr. Marasco.
Ford Motor Co. announced their plan to appeal the verdict on August 22. “While our sympathies go out to the Hill family, we don’t believe the verdict is supported by the evidence, and we plan to appeal.”
The lawsuit originally went to trial in 2018, but three weeks later it was declared a mistrial because Ford introduced evidence that the court had ordered the company not to present.
FORD ROOF COLLAPSE LAWSUIT CLAIMS
In court, Adam and Kim Hill claimed the weak and defective roof of their parents’ Ford F-250 directly contributed to their deaths, according to the Associated Press.
Ford F-250 Super Duty pickup trucks manufactured from 1999 to 2016 possess the same faulty roof. The plaintiffs’ attorney noted that 5.2 million trucks have been built with the same design flaw. Therefore, these vehicles pose a serious risk to drivers and passengers in the event of a rollover accident.
Attorneys for the plaintiffs presented evidence indicating that similar Ford F-Series roofs were a leading cause for injury or death in nearly 80 other cases where the roof was crushed or collapsed in a rollover crash. They also noted that Ford F-150 trucks manufactured before the 2009 model year have a similar roof design.
The plaintiffs allege that Ford Motor Co. knew about the defective roof years prior to the accident, and that several similar accidents have occurred.
OTHER ROOF COLLAPSE LAWSUITS AGAINST FORD MOTOR CO.
According to The Center for Auto Safety, Ford lost four jury trials over the course of ten months related to Explorer rollover crashes.
When, in 2001, a 26-year-old woman died after a rollover accident in a 2000 Ford Explorer, a spokeswoman for the company stated that “simply strengthening a roof will not affect the outcome of the crash for the simple reason that injury mechanics are not related to how much the roof is deformed in a rollover crash.”
But the jury rejected Ford’s claim after being provided with crash reports from Volvo that showed that roof strength would, indeed, improve outcomes in rollover crashes.
The 2001 Ford Explorer crash victim’s husband, who was awarded $10.2 million in damages, including pain and suffering, also rejected Ford’s assertion that roof strength has minimal effects in rollover crashes.
“Their argument was she flew into the roof before it collapsed. As an engineer, that’s just ridiculous to me. It’s a story they made up to fight litigation,” he said.
SUCCESSFUL LAWSUITS CLAIMING FORD’S NEGLIGENCE REGARDING ROOF STRENGTH
Despite Ford’s insistence that its vehicle roofs were safe, the company’s attorneys admitted that before July 2000, more than 1,600 legal actions had been taken against Ford that related specifically to Explorer rollover crashes.
Examples of Compensation Awarded in Ford Roof Collapse Lawsuits
Source: The Center for Auto Safety
In November 2020, a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study of Standard No. 216a concluded, “Stronger vehicle roofs save lives and prevent incapacitating injuries in rollover crashes. An increase in the roof strength by 1 unit of the peak SWR is predicted to reduce the odds of a non-ejected occupant suffering a severe injury by about 14 percent.”
The data flies in the face of Ford and other automakers who pushed for a minimum roof-strength standard after failing the initial test. FMVSS No. 216a is intended to “reduce deaths and injuries due to the crushing of the roof into the occupant compartment in rollover crashes.”
If you have been injured, or if a loved one has been injured or killed, as a result of a defective roof on a Ford F-Series truck, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against Ford Motor Co. Our experienced and competent product liability lawyers will work with you and make sure you receive the justice and closure you deserve.
HAVE RECALLS BEEN ISSUED FOR THE FORD F-250?
The Ford F-250 Super Duty has been in production since 1998. Since its inception, it has received more than 80 recalls for various issues and malfunctions, as listed on DealerRater.
As of August 2022, no recall has been issued for any model year of the Ford F-250 regarding a weak and defective roof.
According to the Detroit Free Press, the Michigan-based manufacturer led the industry in recalls in 2021, with 58 recalls issued. Ford Motor Co. had also earned the top spot in 2022, with 40 recalls as of June 2022.
HOW CAN MARASCO & NESSELBUSH HELP
ME WITH MY CASE AGAINST FORD?
If you or someone you care about has been injured in an accident where the roof of a Ford F-Series truck caved in or collapsed, contact Marasco & Nesselbush today.
Our team of lawyers is on hand to review your case, address your questions and concerns, and explore all legal options with you. We have extensive experience with these types of lawsuits, and we won’t rest until justice is served.
“The recent jury verdict involving a Ford F-250, whose roof collapsed in a single-vehicle rollover, is a great example of a family who obtained justice against a large corporation who, for years, has put profits over people.” – Joe Marasco, Attorney & Partner
Marasco & Nesselbush is ready to fight for you and your family with strong representation against manufacturers of defective products. Schedule your free case review today.