Georgia Jury Awards $1.7 Billion in Lawsuit Dealing with Ford F-250 Rollover Crash
On August 21, a Georgia jury hearing a lawsuit against Ford Motor Co. returned a $1.7 Billion verdict in favor of two plaintiffs who lost their parents in a 2014 rollover crash. The verdict marked the end of a years-long wrongful death case in which the plaintiffs alleged Ford F-250 pickup trucks were equipped with “dangerously defective roofs.”
As part of the case, lawyers for the plaintiffs submitted evidence of nearly 80 other rollover crashes involving Ford truck roofs being crushed or collapsing. The submitted crashes resulted in motorists being killed or injured.
Weak Roofs in Ford Pickups Topic of Previous Lawsuits
Weak and unsafe roofs have been the subject of previous lawsuits against Ford Motor Company.
In 2017, a plaintiff was awarded compensation for a 2017 crash in which the roof of his Ford F550 Super Duty pickup caved in during a rollover accident. The plaintiff’s lawyers successfully argued that the injuries claimed in the lawsuit would have been prevented had the pickup been equipped with a safer, more adequate roof.
A 2019 lawsuit involving a 19-year-old man who was killed after his F-150 rolled over had similar results. The victim’s family was compensated by Ford Motor Company.
Which Ford Models Have Weak Roofs?
Because no recall has been issued, it is near impossible to get a complete list of vehicles that may have weak roofs or roofs that are prone to collapse. However, based on court filings, the issue seems to be most prevalent in Ford trucks from the 1999-2007 model years.
The top Ford truck types documented in roof-crush incidents include:
- Ford F-Series trucks
- Ford Heavy Duty trucks
- Ford Super Duty trucks
Truck owners should note this is not by any means a comprehensive list. Other Ford vehicles may also have dangerously weak roofs.
Why Are the Ford Truck’s Roofs So Weak?
Ford trucks often come equipped with large engines, a heavy body, and a tall cab that creates a high center of gravity. To reduce the overall weight of the vehicles and to lower the center of gravity, Ford Motor Co. began to remove materials from the roof structure and support pillars.
While the removal of these materials certainly lightened up the trucks, it also weakened the roof and compromised roof structure safety. In short, the roofs lack the structural integrity to bear the weight of the rest of the truck.
In fact, records indicate the trucks failed computer safety tests after having the roof materials removed. Still, the trucks were put on the market. While it does appear Ford Motor Co. did design stronger roofs between 2004 and 2006, older models remain equipped with weaker roofs.
Injuries Commonly Suffered in Rollover Accidents
When a vehicle fails to provide adequate protection to occupants in a rollover accident, those in the vehicle can suffer serious, life-altering injuries. Among the most common injuries sustained by people in rollover accidents are:
- Back injuries
- Slipped discs
- Herniated discs
- Neck injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Soft tissue damage
- Damage to vital organs
- Spinal cord injuries
What If a Loved One or I Were Injured in a Rollover Crash While Riding in a Ford Pickup?
If you or a loved one was injured in an accident in which a Ford truck’s roof caved, collapsed, or was crushed, call Thomas J. Henry Law for immediate assistance.
Thomas J. Henry Law’s experienced car defect lawyers have handled a multitude of injury claims caused by defective vehicles. We continue to handle cases involving faulty and dangerous GM ignition switches and Takata airbags. Call our attorneys today for a free legal consultation — our lawyers for vehicle recalls are available 24/7, nights and weekends.