Jury Finds 2000 Ford Expedition Sunroof was Not Dangerous
April 13, 2012

by Katie O'Mara, komara@glass.com

A Mississippi jury ruled in favor the of the Ford Motor Company after the company was sued by members of the Hankins family who claimed the sunroof of the 2000 Ford Expedition was “in a defective condition and unreasonably dangerous to the plaintiffs because of a defectively designed sunroof glass and mounting.

In 2005, Marion Hankins was driving a 2000 Ford Expedition when the car ran off the road and began to roll over. She was ejected from the sunroof of the Expedition and was rendered a paraplegic and permanently disabled. In the original complaint Hankins and her parents, Peggy and James Hankins, alleged that the vehicle was defective and unreasonably dangerous due to “lack of adequate warnings, lack of sufficient testing, lack of appropriate safety features, inadequate and defective design, a defective or inadequate occupant restraint system, a defective or inadequate sunroof mechanism, lack of overall crashworthiness and such other defects to be proved at the trial of this matter.”

The documents go on to say that the tempered glass used in the sunroof was designed to shatter and eject, regardless of impact and the sunroof mechanism did not hold the sunroof intact during the rollover. The plaintiffs claim that there were safer alternatives available at the time of production of the 2000 Ford Expedition.

“Ford knew or should have known of other significantly safer sunroof mechanisms, restraint systems and overall design alternatives that would have prevented the ejection of passengers such as Marion and callously refused to adopt them in the interest of higher profits,” read the documents.

The case went to trial and the jury returned the verdict in Ford’s favor, citing that the plaintiffs’ complaint was being dismissed with prejudice, which bars the plaintiffs from further action on this issue with the exception of appeals. The plaintiffs’ were suing for more than $5 million dollars and were awarded nothing after the verdict. 

This story is an original story by AGRR™ magazine/glassBYTEs.com™. Subscribe to AGRR™ Magazine.
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