A Gwinnett County jury delivered their verdict on the multi-year-long civil case regarding the roof of Ford Pickup tracks being defective. As part of the verdict, Ford was called to pay $1.7 billion in compensation.
The lawsuit was the result of an accident in Georgia that led to the death of two people. Melvin and Voncile Hill were in their 2002 Ford F-250 in April 2014, when they were a part of a rollover wreck. Their children Kim and Adam Hill were the ones to bring the case to court as plaintiffs.
Ford in a statement following the verdict noted that they would be appealing as the verdict is not grounded in facts according to them.
The plaintiffs’ lawyer James Butler Jr. has said that the evidence presented in the case made it evident that the trucks had “weak” roofs.
Ford’s lawyers, on the other hand, were adamant in defending both the automobile manufacturer and its engineers. The company specifically opposed accusations that the company has not put the safety of passengers at the top of its priority list when making decisions about roof strength.
Paul Malek who was a member of the plaintiff’s case also used the closing argument to say that Ford had wilfully chosen to not place customer safety higher. As part of the evidence, the plaintiff’s lawyers also brought forth evidence from 80 other rollover wrecks which led to the victims being killed or injured. This was used to prove that these trucks are a danger on the road.
Butler said that he was hopeful that these damages to the Hill family would help warn others before deciding to purchase another Ford truck.