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Tort Reform, Anyone?  
User currently offlineLearpilot From United States of America, joined May 2001, 814 posts, RR: 1
Posted (10 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 787 times:

Woman swerves, rolls Explorer, sues and cashes in. Cha Ching!!!!

http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20040604/ap_on_bi_ge/ford_rollover

Thanks Greg Big grin and the rest of the trial attorneys and idiot juries. You guys amazed us once again.






Heed our warnings or your future will be underpant free!
16 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineGreg From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (10 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 781 times:

You're welcome, I guess. I'm not sure if that was an insult or not.  Smile

What dollar value, specifically, would you put on your being crippled for life?
What amount, specifically, would you want Ford to pay as a penalty for their negligence? Just curious.

It will likely be reduced. See further down the article if you haven't read it in it's entirety.

Brgds.


User currently offlineDLKAPA From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (10 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 773 times:

The 49-year-old San Diego mother of two offered to knock $100 million off the damage award if Ford recalled millions of Explorers and corrected the design flaws that she says left her wheelchair-bound.

Design flaws? There were no design flaws. The SUV is inherently designed very top-heavy. It can roll over easily, this is the risk you are willing to take. If I were that woman, I'd go back to high school Physics class to learn all about centrifugal force. If I were the judge, I'd have thrown out the case.

DLKAPA


User currently offlineJeffM From United States of America, joined May 2005, 3266 posts, RR: 52
Reply 3, posted (10 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 763 times:

"What amount, specifically, would you want Ford to pay as a penalty for their negligence? "

Problem is, Ford does not pay the damages the judge awarded...their insurance carrier does.... and then you know what happens and who actually pays the bill? We do.


User currently offlineLHMark From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 7255 posts, RR: 47
Reply 4, posted (10 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 760 times:

"I think their message to Ford is that it's not OK what they've done and continue to do by not recalling the Ford Explorers," he said.

I guess Ford should have recalled all the explorers, then widened the wheelbase and lowered the center of gravity. How long will this repair take, Mr. Service Writer?

You want to buy what's essentially a truck, and drive it like a car, you take your chance. You want to buy a mini or a crotch-rocket, you take your chance. You drive, you take your chance. The road's not a safe place.



"Sympathy is something that shouldn't be bestowed on the Yankees. Apparently it angers them." - Bob Feller
User currently offlineGreg From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (10 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 759 times:

That's not true.

Ford is penalized by higher insurance costs. And depending on their coverage and stop loss--large settlements can be very damaging.

Please don't paint the public at large as victims of a single lawsuit---they are however, the victim of Fords negligence in desiging an (as one personal already said) inherently unstable vehicle.

To say that a woman should have known her vehicle was unsafe (unstable)--and shouldn't have purchased it---is ridiculous.

To say that a case in which the vehicle overturns four times under normal evassive conditions (avoiding an object)--and they driver is left paralyzed for life--should be thrown out of court is blatant stupidity.


User currently offlineJeffM From United States of America, joined May 2005, 3266 posts, RR: 52
Reply 6, posted (10 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 757 times:

And what will Ford do when they are hit with higher insurance costs? Suck it up themself? I doubt it.



User currently offlineQANTASFOREVER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (10 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 753 times:

If there is a proved design-flaw in the car then the court should have recommended to Ford that they recall the model to save them from further legal action on behalf of injured (or potentially injured) Explorer drivers.

The fact that this payout ever occured says to me that:

1) as a result of the courts actions there is not a design flaw with the car. In fact, as common sense would dictate - swerving at high speeds can potentially result in a car flipping over.

2) if there is a design flaw in the car - then this law suit simply served to compensate one victim of the said flaw; thus by ford and the court are ignoring their responsibilities to drivers by not highlighting the problem - and ford leaves themselves open to further civil or criminal action. And I doubt this is something ford is willing to do.

Something isn't quite right in this case.

QFF


User currently offlineLHMark From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 7255 posts, RR: 47
Reply 8, posted (10 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 751 times:

Well, on one hand, Ford and other auto manufacturers aggressively marketed SUV's on their safety.

On the other hand, major news investigations, Consumer Reports, and hundreds of others released alert after alert that they can roll over.

The point is, why is this accident any more the fault of the manufacturer than thousands of other unfortunate crashes?

I'm not up to snuff on this next point, but I wonder how much in damages were paid out over the Corvair, Pinto, and Renault Fuego (for its sheer offensiveness to the senses).



"Sympathy is something that shouldn't be bestowed on the Yankees. Apparently it angers them." - Bob Feller
User currently offlineB2707SST From United States of America, joined Apr 2003, 1369 posts, RR: 59
Reply 9, posted (10 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 747 times:

To say that a woman should have known her vehicle was unsafe (unstable)--and shouldn't have purchased it---is ridiculous.

My parents own a 1998 Explorer. There are warning labels all over the owner's manual and the vehicle interior about the risk of rollovers during extreme maneuvers, and the manual explicitly cautions drivers that the Explorer does not handle like a normal passenger car. If you drive cautiously and reasonably, you'll be fine. We've swerved sharply to avoid objects and the vehicle never became unstable.

The woman was involved in a tragic accident, but there is no design flaw in the Explorer - it simply cannot be driven like a Ferrari. Under the "unreasonably dangerous defect" standard that governs strict liability law (at least in Washington), Ford should not be liable.

--B2707SST



Keynes is dead and we are living in his long run.
User currently offlineAaron747 From Japan, joined Aug 2003, 8021 posts, RR: 26
Reply 10, posted (10 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 742 times:

Yet another example of plaintiffs' attorneys exploiting a system that more often than not operates in their favor.

The worst thing about this is that when there *is* outright negligence and a chance to set real precedent, skepticism is already drawn vis a vis the bad reputation our long track record of litigious behavior has already long since established.



If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
User currently offlineGreg From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (10 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 737 times:

The attorneys did not award themselves the damages--the jury did.

Clearly, there is something inherently wrong with any vehicle that is designed in such a way as to come with a warning sticker specifically about it's instability. That in itself does not dismiss liability--by any means.

Very likely that was one of the points made at the trial.

As I mentioned before, the punitive award will be lowered by the court.

And please, no more stories about fantastic settlements on relatively minor incidents...they have already been proven to be urban legends.


User currently offlineJeffM From United States of America, joined May 2005, 3266 posts, RR: 52
Reply 12, posted (10 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 727 times:

So, using your logic, gun makers are liable for all the damage they do?

Yea, right. Use it the way it was designed to be used, you'll have no problems.


User currently offlineGreg From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (10 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 722 times:

That is one of the oldest and most juvenile arguments out there--surely you know the difference between murder and product liability (of course, it would be quite different if you fired the gun and lost your hand in the process, right?)

Although I do not agree with your opinion--I certainly respect it.

The justice system has spoken on this case. Ultimateley, we'll have to see whether they have other words.

I'll agree that is seems excessive. But I'll stand by the decision---if not the amount of the award.

Have a good weekend!





User currently offlineQANTASFOREVER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (10 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 721 times:

JeffM - that depends on what kind of a gun it is. Guns constructed with the specific purpose of recreational shooting (rifle with various safety mechanisms and aim parefenalia) are not designed to kill people.

Certain kinds of guns that are not for recreational shooting or for hunting are theoretically designed to shoot people (this is very broad though - it includes for use of self defence, murder or infliction of serious bodily harm to another). However cars are not designed to be used as lethal weapons. Indeed by their very nature as machines they do have the potential to kill a person intentionally or unintentionally.

If a gun maker recklessly created a gun that was for the specific purpose of inflicting as much harm to a shooting victim then I would suggest that the gun maker would be partially liable. Just as those people who have build bombs for use in terrorist attacks have been indicted.

It all comes down to the design. I seriously doubt that Ford built the Explorer model with the intention of it flipping over and killing people - but it must accept responsibility if this model is prone to that kind of an accident.

I really think you are talking about chalk and cheese here.

QFF


User currently offlineGoose From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 1840 posts, RR: 15
Reply 15, posted (10 years 1 month 1 week 1 day ago) and read 719 times:

Certain kinds of guns that are not for recreational shooting or for hunting are theoretically designed to shoot people (this is very broad though - it includes for use of self defence, murder or infliction of serious bodily harm to another).

I assume you're talking about military-grade weapons? I own a few of those.

But I didn't buy them so I could pick off my neighbours at 200 yards. I use them exclusively for target shooting.

The intended use of any weapon is the decision of the user, not the manufacturer. Just because a rifle looks like one that soldiers use, doesn't mean that it will be used for that purpose.



"Talk to me, Goose..."
User currently offlineQANTASFOREVER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (10 years 1 month 1 week 23 hours ago) and read 721 times:

But guns that are not exclusively designed and built for recreational shooting are built with the intention of shooting something other than a target. I'm not saying everyone who owns a military style rifle is about to go postal - I'm saying that if an object is created with the intention of causing harm, and harm is caused - the manufacturer can be held liable. If an object is made and the user causes harm with that object against the intentions of the designers of the object - the manufacturers will probably avoid legal action taken against them.

If a military style rifle that have been legally sold and registered falls into the wrong hands and a person harms another person with that weapon - the manufacter may avoid prosecution. Just as if someone steals a Ford Explorer, drives it at high speed and intentionally flips it and kills people - Ford may avoid prosecution.

What I'm trying to suggest here is - manufacturers intent comes into play in cases such as these. If the manufacturer knowingly designed a product that was dangerous without safety and security warnings and provisions then that manufacturer leaves themselves open for prosecution.

You see what I'm getting at?

QFF


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