Ford Pitches For Fresh Trial After $1.7B Jury Verdict In Truck Rollover Mishap

Ford Motor Co (NYSE: F) urged a Georgia court for a new trial after a jury reached a $1.7 billion verdict against the automaker involving a truck rollover accident that left two people dead.

  • Ford claimed unfair preclusion from providing evidence that would have demonstrated the truck involved was safe, with a more robust roof structure than many of its peers, the WSJ reports.

  • Ford reportedly argued that a state judge in 2018 effectively barred Ford from defending itself against the plaintiffs' claims that the truck's roof design was defective.

  • Ford was also unable to sufficiently show other factors at trial that could have contributed to the fatalities, including its contention that the occupants were not correctly wearing their seat belts.

  • Ford filed two motions in the state court of Gwinnett County in Georgia, the report added. One sought a new trial, while the other challenged the punitive damages imposed on the company in August.

  • The top industry safety regulator, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, shows no investigative action or safety recalls related to incidents of collapsed roofs involving 1999-2016 heavy-duty Ford pickups.

  • Melvin and Voncile Hill lost their lives in April 2014 in the rollover wreck of their 2002 Ford F-250. Their children, Kim and Adam Hill, were the wrongful death case plaintiffs.

  • Jurors in Gwinnett County, just northeast of Atlanta, returned the verdict in the yearslong civil case citing dangerously defective roofs on Ford pickup trucks.

  • Ford works on a new smartphone-based communications technology to help warn drivers of pedestrians, bicyclists, and those approaching a vehicle's path but blocked from a driver's view.

Related: Ford Tries New Crash Risk Alert - Read How This Smartphone-Based Technology Could Help

If the vehicle calculates a potential crash risk, Ford SYNC can alert drivers by the in-vehicle screen showing graphics of pedestrians, bicyclists, or more with audio alerts.

Apple Inc's (NASDAQ: AAPL) new iPhone 14 lineup has a "Crash Detection" feature, which can detect a severe car crash and automatically dial emergency services when a user is unconscious or unable to reach their iPhone.

Price Action: Ford shares traded higher by 1.08% at $12.12 on Tuesday.

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