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Ford Roof Lawsuit in 2024 (Get the Right Attorney)

Ford Motor Company has been ordered to pay $1.7 billion in punitive damages, in addition to $24 million in compensatory damages, over a lawsuit filed by the family of an elderly couple that was killed when the roof of their F-250 pickup collapsed during a rollover accident.
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C.L. Mike Schmidt Published by C.L. Mike Schmidt
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If you or a loved one was injured or killed in a rollover accident in which the roof collapsed on a Ford F250, F350 or F450 from model years 1999-2016, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a Ford Roof Lawsuit and we can help. Please click the button below for a Free Confidential Case Evaluation or call us toll-free 24 hrs/day by dialing (866) 588-0600.

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Ford Hit With $1.7 Billion Verdict Over F-250 Roof Collapse Deaths

Voncile and Melvin Hill were killed in 2014 when the Ford Super Duty F-250 pickup truck they were driving in rolled over on a rural Georgia road.

Their sons, Kim and Adam Hill filed the lawsuit against Ford, alleging that the company had known for at least 20 years that the roofs of their Super Duty trucks were dangerously weak yet kept them on the market.

According to CNN Business in 2022, Chris Isidore stated that a jury in Gwinnett County, Georgia, found Ford mostly to blame for the deaths of Kim and Adam Hill on August 18, 2022, awarding them $24 million in compensatory damages. The jury added $1.7 billion in punitive damages the following day [1].

Benjamin C. Zipursky, a professor at Fordham University School of Law, said the high punitive damages award in the case makes it clear that the jury accepted the plaintiffs lawyer’s argument that Ford knew about the weak roof problem for decades and did nothing about it. This perceived indifference to the possible death of customers evidently incensed the jury, Zipursky said.

What’s the Problem with Ford Truck Roofs?

Evidence presented in the lawsuit indicated that Ford F-250 pickup trucks manufactured from 1999 to 2016 all pose a risk to drivers and passengers in cases of a rollover because the roof strength is not increased to account for the additional weight of the larger trucks.

At least 5.2 million trucks still on the road today have been built with the same potentially defective roof — the “weakest in the Ford fleet of 31 vehicles” — according to the lawsuit. Perhaps even more troubling is that Ford F-150 pickups, the best-selling vehicle in America, have a nearly identical roof design in models made before 2009.

Ford to Appeal $1.7 Billion Verdict in Georgia Truck Crash: 11 Alive Video

Have Ford Trucks Been Recalled Over the Roof Crush Problem?

As claimed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), to date, Ford has not issued a voluntary recall over the alleged roof defect, and a forced recall is unlikely, seeking that just one such recall has been issued since the agency was formed in 1970: the Jeep CJ series recall in 1979 [2].

According to Keith Barry from Consumer Reports, voluntary recalls by Ford are not unheard of. The automaker announced a massive recall for nearly 3 million vehicles for an unintentional rollaway risk in the summer of 2022 [3].

Have Other Lawsuits Been Filed?

In addition to the Hill case, as of March 2017, Ford had been hit with at least 162 other lawsuits alleging the rollover and roof crush, or failure of a roof, in F250, F350, or F450 pickup trucks. These cases included:

  • A lawsuit was filed in Minnesota federal court in March 2021 on behalf of Plaintiffs Ronald and Kory James. Ronald James suffered a cervical spinal cord injury when his 2003 Ford F350 rolled over, according to the lawsuit. “Because the roof of the 2003 F350 is not strong enough to support the weight of the vehicle, it collapses into occupants’ survival space,” the complaint states. The trial is expected to take place in early 2023.
  • A case was filed in Nevada federal court in August 2021 on behalf of the family of Luis Aguilar Hurtado, whose Ford F-250 allegedly rolled over, with the roof collapsing and killing him. The trial date will be set after the court rules on the pending motions for summary judgment.
  • A lawsuit was filed against Ford on behalf of Mary Ann and Kenneth Huie, who were traveling between 13 and 15 mph when their 2007 F-250 rolled over. The roof crushed down on them, leaving Mary Ann a quadriplegic and Kenneth a paraplegic. The case ended in a confidential settlement.
  • A 2018 case that ended in a confidential settlement in favor of Plaintiff Carlos Paz-Orjales, who had been a fully seat-belted passenger in a 2005 Ford F350 Super Duty King Ranch truck when the driver lost control of the vehicle and the truck rolled over. The truck’s roof caved in and crushed Paz-Orjales, severely injuring his spine and permanently rendering him a quadriplegic.
  • Another case brought in California state court also ended in a confidential settlement. That case involved a rollover collision of a 2006 F350 pickup truck in which the roof allegedly crushed the occupant’s so-called survival space, leaving the driver a quadriplegic.

It is not known how many more lawsuits Ford is facing from Super Duty truck rollovers; however, some cases may be headed for trial while others have ended in confidential settlement agreements.

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The Products Liability Litigation Group at Schmidt & Clark, LLP law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Ford Roof Crush Lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new injury and death cases in all 50 states.

If you or a loved one was injured or killed in a rollover accident in which the roof collapsed on a Ford F250, F350 or F450 from model years 1999-2016, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to financial compensation by filing a lawsuit and our product liability lawyers can help.

References:

  1. https://edition.cnn.com/2022/08/22/business/ford-1-7-billion-dollar-verdict/index.html
  2. https://www.nhtsa.gov/vehicle/1979/JEEP/CJ%20SERIES
  3. https://www.consumerreports.org/cars/car-recalls-defects/ford-car-suv-recall-for-rollaway-risk-a1016969621/

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