An Alabama jury awarded $151.8 million to a young man paralyzed in 2015 rollover accident associating a Ford Explorer sport utility vehicle, Ford and lawyers in the case stated on Sunday.
The jury awarded $100 million in punitive damages and the remaining in compensatory damages after discovering on Friday that the 1998 Ford Explorer did not satisfy Ford’s own safety guidelines and that Ford “acted wantonly” in designing the vehicle, according to a court document observed by Reuters and lawyers for plaintiff Travaris “Tre” Smith.
Smith was travelling in the SUV when its driver swerved to avoid an animal and the vehicle rolled over two times, attorneys at law firms Beasley Allen and Gamble, Gamble, Calame and Jones stated.
Ford said it prepares to appeal. “Our sympathy goes out to Travaris Smith and his family. At the same time, we disagree with the jury’s decision in this case as well as with a series of rulings by the Alabama court that kept the jury from hearing critical evidence – and will appeal,” Ford spokeswoman Monique Brentley informed Reuters.
Ford stated it has redesigned the Explorer since 1998.