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WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ordered a state appeals court Monday to review a decision giving $82.6 million to a woman who was paralyzed after her Ford Explorer rolled over.
The justices want a California appeals court to determine if its ruling is in line with the Supreme Court decision overturning a $79.5 punitive damages award in a tobacco case earlier this year. The court said then that a jury may punish a defendant only for the harm done to the person who is suing, not to others whose cases were not before it.
Benetta Buell-Wilson, 51, was driving on an interstate east of San Diego in January 2002 when she swerved to avoid a metal object and lost control of her 1997 Explorer, which rolled 4 1/2 times. The mother of two was paralyzed from the waist down when the roof collapsed on her neck, severing her spine.
In June 2004 a San Diego jury found that her Explorer was defective because of instability and a weak roof.
A jury initially awarded $369 million, including $246 million in punitive damages. It was the first damage award against the Ford Motor Company (F) involving a rollover of an Explorer and one of the biggest personal-injury awards ever against an automaker.
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Ford has a very strong point...the Ford Explorer has alway met NHTSA Federal Safety Standards or else it would not have been allowed to be sold to the general public.

Plus, the California Legal System is one if not the most liberal judicial system in the country...so there is some doubt into the accuracy of these findings. In nearly all cases, fault was found with the operator of the vehicle...and not the vehicle it self. The physical design fell within Federal Standards. In my opinion...this is simply a case where a state court is trying to look good to the public by taking on a "Greedy, Heartless, and Morally Corrupt Corporation" and teach them a lesson. That would be especially true of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco!

Federal Law supercedes State Law...that has always been the case in the US Judicial System and Ford is being punished for building a vehicle that meets Federal Safety Standards...talk about ironic!

I hope Ford can get this overturned, but at the same time...I do feel empathy toward Ms. Buell-Wilson and I hope that she will still recieve the help that she needs...but as for the accident...she was behind the wheel, she swerved the vehicle, she lost control...she abused the unique handling properties of an SUV and she unfortunately must bear that responsibility.

As Always...Stay Fabulous!
RG59061
 

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Ford has a very strong point...the Ford Explorer has alway met NHTSA Federal Safety Standards or else it would not have been allowed to be sold to the general public.

Plus, the California Legal System is one if not the most liberal judicial system in the country...so there is some doubt into the accuracy of these findings. In nearly all cases, fault was found with the operator of the vehicle...and not the vehicle it self. The physical design fell within Federal Standards. In my opinion...this is simply a case where a state court is trying to look good to the public by taking on a "Greedy, Heartless, and Morally Corrupt Corporation" and teach them a lesson. That would be especially true of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco!

Federal Law supercedes State Law...that has always been the case in the US Judicial System and Ford is being punished for building a vehicle that meets Federal Safety Standards...talk about ironic!

I hope Ford can get this overturned, but at the same time...I do feel empathy toward Ms. Buell-Wilson and I hope that she will still recieve the help that she needs...but as for the accident...she was behind the wheel, she swerved the vehicle, she lost control...she abused the unique handling properties of an SUV and she unfortunately must bear that responsibility.

As Always...Stay Fabulous!
RG59061
You took the words right out of my mouth.
This is a case where a careless driver fails to use her judgement properly and now is trying to pass the blame on Ford.
There is Tons, I mean millions of these explorers on our roads.. how come they are not all rolling?
 

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This case reminds me of the lady who was driving a 20 year old Bronco, and it rolled and she didnt have her seatbelt on. Then she sued Ford for defective seatbelts or something like that. The cars is 20 YEARS OLD!
 

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It wasn't just Ford Explorers that were flipping over...Jeep Grand Cherokee's, Toyota 4-Runner's, Chevrolet Blazer's, and several other SUVs were suffering from defective Firestone Wilderness AT tires.

The fact that the majority of the vehicles afflicted were the Ford Explorer was because it was and up until a few days ago was the #1 Selling SUV in America. There were more Explorers than anyother SUV on the road.

But that still doesn't change the fact that SUVs drive and handle very differently than a standard car. SUVs have a substantially higher center of gravity and when built as a Body-On-Frame SUV...are prone to high rates of Body Roll. If you drive an SUV like a compact car and think it will corner, slolam, and handle abrupt turns like a car...then you are asking for trouble. SUVs demand that you respect the vehicles capabilities and drive it with the attention that it needs.

As for Americans suing over 20 year old seatbelts...that she was not wearing...all I can say is WTF!

American's are "Sue Obsessed"! So many are unwilling to accept that they are at fault if it means that they can win some large settlement. Like the lovely lady who sued McDonalds Restaurants because their food made her son fat...Did McDonalds make your son eat a Big Mac EVERYDAY? In a word...NO! Plus Mom was no prize winning model of perfect health anyway. :rolleyes:

Lawsuits are simply viewed as a new way to get rich...just look at all the Class Action Lawsuit commercials regarding Mesthelioma or various Prescription Drugs that were pulled...this is getting out of control.

As Always...Stay Fabulous!
RG59061
 
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