Hughes v. Ford Motor Co., 204 F. Supp. 2d 958 (N.D. Miss. 2002)
Lisa Hughes was driving a 1991 Ford Explorer when the ventilation system caught fire. Hughes suffered significant burns from the fire. The fire was likely caused by a design that allowed leaves to accumulate in the blower box of the vehicle’s ventilation system, where they could catch fire. Lisa and Larry Hughes filed a products liability lawsuit against Ford based on a defective design.
After a trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of Lisa Hughes in the amount of $4 million in compensatory damages. Ford filed a motion for judgment as a matter of law, or in the alternative, a new trial or reduction of the jury award.
At the trial, the Hughes did not call their design experts, instead they called a Ford Design engineer, Chuck Adams. Drawing all inferences in favor of the Hughes, the court found that the Hughes met their burden of proof as to Ford’s knowledge and on the issue of whether the vehicle was unreasonably dangerous. The District Court denied Ford’s motion for a new trial or for judgment as a matter of law. However, on review, they found the jury award of $4 million to be excessive, which was reduced to $2.5 million.
The law firm of Walker Morgan is located at 135 E Main St., Lexington, SC 29072. All lawyers at Walker Morgan are licensed to practice law in the State of South Carolina. Should you wish to retain our firm for legal representation regarding a potential case in any other jurisdiction we are required to associate local counsel in that foreign jurisdiction and seek permission from a court of the foreign jurisdiction to temporarily engage in the practice of law therein for purposes of pursuing your potential claim only.
By offering the following information the lawyers at Walker Morgan are not offering legal advice or legal guidance. The lawyers at Walker Morgan are not licensed to practice law in Mississippi. Should you have a question/concern specific to Mississippi law, please contact an attorney licensed to practice law in the State of Mississippi.