The Senior Judge in the Fifth Circuit has set aside a Florida jury's verdict finding Ford Motor Corporation not liable in a sudden acceleration catastrophic car crash case after the judge found that Ford Motor Corporation fraudulently concealed evidence from the trial court and the National Safety Transportation Administration. The Court found that Ford had concealed other causes of sudden acceleration in crashes and offered evidence at trial that defrauded the court. Ford Motor Corporation offered evidence at trial that stated it knew of no other causes of sudden acceleration in its vehicles other than driver error, when in fact Ford's own testing showed electromagnetic interference causing lsudden acceleration.
Does anyone remember the Ford Pinto cases?
Senior Judge Willam T. Swigert ordered a new trial as a result of his finding that Ford defrauded the court by concealing evidence of its own testing showing a cause of the sudden acceleration to be electromagnetic interference. The court ordered a new trial where the only evidence to be presented to the jury is that evidence needed to show compensatory and punitive damages due the plaintiffs.
The case involved a 2003 crash that left a woman paralyzed when her husband testified he could not slow down his Ford van despite depressing the brakes and doing everything humanly possible to stop the van. Although Ford's witnesses testified at trial that Ford could find no other causes of sudden acceleration other than human error, the Judge exorcised Ford after discovering the testimony was false-that Ford Motor Corporation had learned of sudden acceleration problems caused by electromagnetic interference with their vans and cars as early as the 1970's, almost forty years earlier.
Ford and other car manufacturers have, for years, relied upon reports from the National Safety Transportation Adminstration showing humnan error to be the cause of sudden acceleration problems. The Judge found that Ford had lied to NSTA and those lies contributed to the NSTA's findings.
As we have written on this site, these crashes have injured and killed many people and have been investigated by the National Transportation Safety Administration for years. Those of us who represent victims of these kinds of crashes are not surprised by this finding-just that it took forty years to expose Ford and other manufacturers of their fraud.
If you've been injured in a sudden acceleration crash, know what you are up against-just as this Florida judge discovered after presiding over one of the first trials of this type-lies, fraud, and greed.