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Old 11-25-2003, 19:36   #1 (permalink)
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California court hits Ford with $23.7 million penalty

Automotive News
Reuters / November 25, 2003

DETROIT -- A California court of appeals on Tuesday ordered Ford Motor Co. to pay $23.7 million to a family involved in a 1993 rollover accident after the U.S. Supreme Court threw out a $290 million judgment in the same case.

Ford had called the original $290 million award to the Romo family the largest personal injury award ever upheld by an appeals court.

The Supreme Court threw the damages out and sent the case back to the state court after ruling in a different case that punitive damages must be reasonable and proportionate to the harm suffered.

The damages stemmed from the crash of a 1978 Bronco near Ceres, Calif. Three members of the Romo family were killed and three others were injured when the vehicle overturned several times, causing the roof to cave in.

The accident occurred after the Bronco's driver, Juan Romo, swerved when he was cut off by another vehicle.

The surviving plaintiffs sued Ford, claiming the roof had been improperly designed because it did not have steel reinforcement. The jury awarded them $4.6 million in compensatory damages and $290 million in punitive damages.

A judge ordered a new trial because two jurors had shown bias. But a California appeals court reinstated the entire $290 million, and the California Supreme Court, by a 4-3 vote, declined to review the decision.

In Tuesday's ruling, the court said it arrived at its figure by multiplying the compensatory damages by three, and adding an additional $10 million for Ford's "extreme reprehensibility."

The court said the Romo family could reject the award and seek another trial for punitive damages. Lawyers for the family could not be immediately reached for comment.

A Ford spokeswoman did not immediately return calls seeking comment.
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Old 11-25-2003, 19:45   #2 (permalink)
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Re: California court hits Ford with $23.7 million penalty

Well I think thats just crap, since when does swerving and putting lives in danger due to negligence of another vehicle put a manafacturer at fault, next thing roll cages will be a standard item and more air bags than you can count.

The American courts are out of control if you ask my opinion.

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Old 11-26-2003, 01:18   #3 (permalink)
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Re: California court hits Ford with $23.7 million penalty

US$290,000,000!? WTF are they going to do with all that money? And what are the courts thinking 'giving' them all that money? How many people does that open the doors to to go and sue Ford for something, an action that is beyond (in a way) their control?
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Old 11-26-2003, 06:39   #4 (permalink)
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Re: California court hits Ford with $23.7 million penalty

Welcome to the good ole US of A. Everyone is sue happy. Everyone is looking to make a buck off of every mistake bt every manufacturer so they can live the highlife.

Some examples.

A California couple seriously injured when their 1994 Ford Explorer rolled over in the California desert have settled their lawsuit for a total of $14.9 million, including $9.4 million against the dealer that sold them the sport utility vehicle. LINK

There are more from GM, Dodge and other manufacturers. Ford just seems to get the highlight reel more times than anyone else.

The problem with this place...aka the US....is that everyone is looking for the quick buck. Be it a lawyer ready to sue everyone that is involved in a product that is either faulty or not used properly and caused damages. Look at the Lawsuits brought up by fat people in the NE area of the US. They were suing McDonalds stating that the products maccas makes are addicting and they got Fat because of the purposefully designed food by Maccas to make people addicted to it. It all stemmed off of the lawsuit by people against the cigarette manufacturers.

Now this is a personal opinion, but if you smoke cigarettes it is your choice. If you can not stop smoking because you are "addicted" then that is not the problem of the manufacturer. Even if he makes the product more appealing to the user that finds the need now to smoke them. If you do not have any will power to stop smoking that is not the fault of the manufacturer, but your own.

Ok end rant. I just do not think that big tobacco companies should have been held responsible for the addictions and behavours of those that have no will power to stop smoking. BTW for the record I smoked for 13 years, quit for 4 years smoked for 2 weeks and have not had another cig for over a year. it is a matter of choice. No drugs, no patches, no gum. It was done cold turkey. Anyhow sorry for the rambling. Just had to make a point.
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