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California Auto Defects Lawyers File Wrongful Death Suit Against Ford

Riverside, CA (PRWEB) August 31, 2009

The California personal injury attorneys of BISNAR CHASE (www.BestAttorney.com) have filed a products liability wrongful death lawsuit against Ford Motor Corporation, Bridgestone Tire Corporation and TRW Vehicle Safety Systems.

The suit alleges that the 1991 Ford Ranger SUV manufactured by Ford failed to properly protect Milton Perry Jr. during an April 2009 rollover crash that caused his ejection and death. The action was brought against the defendants by plaintiffs Pamela Perry and Gwendolyn Scott, Milton Perry's sole surviving adult children.

Loss of Control and Rollover Follow Tire Separation and Blowout

In the legal action against the defendants, plaintiffs allege that Perry Jr. was driving his Ford Ranger at a legal speed on Interstate 10 in Riverside County. When one of the SUV's Bridgestone tires separated and blew out, Perry lost control of the SUV and it rolled over several times before coming to rest and bursting into flames. Although Perry was ejected during the rollover, the injuries he sustained were fatal, resulting in the wrongful death claim.

"We're alleging that Bridgestone knew these tires were unsafe," said Brian Chase of the BISNAR CHASE auto defects law firm. "Bridgestone did recall some tires but failed to recall the tire models found on Mr. Perry's SUV, which had similar design and manufacturing defects that Bridgestone knew could cause premature, sudden and catastrophic tread separations."

Poor Lateral Stability, Unsafe Restraint Systems and Defective Roof Alleged

The plaintiffs allege that the 1991 Ford Ranger lacked sufficient lateral and roll stability to keep the SUV upright during cornering and handling by an ordinary driver during foreseeable road and traffic conditions.

The plaintiffs further contend that the Ford Ranger's restraint system manufactured by TRW Vehicle Safety Systems was also unsafe. This includes the seat buckles, seat belts, shoulder belts and retractors. Allegations that the restraint system's geometry was unsafe, and that it lacked pre-tensioners were also leveled against TRW. The Plaintiffs contend that the defendants knew these parts and systems would fail to restrain an occupant in the event of a rollover accident.

In addition, the plaintiffs also allege that when the Ford Ranger rolled over, its A and B pillars, windshield headers and roof rails lacked the strength and structural integrity to withstand the SUV's roof crush forces during foreseeable rollovers. "This flies in the face of advertisements that extol the virtues of the 1991 Ranger being 'Ford Tough,'" said Brian Chase.

Plaintiffs Insist Unsafe Side Windows Also Contributed to Fatality

The plaintiffs also blame the Ford Ranger's defective and unsafe window system. "These windows did not comply with Federal Vehicle Safety Standard 205 in that they failed to contain Mr. Perry during the rollover," noted Brian Chase. "It's our position that Ford knew that laminated glass supported by a substantial metal framework could have prevented the total shattering of the side window during this rollover, and that Mr. Perry's death could have been prevented had this readily available technology been used in this SUV."

The plaintiffs believe that since 1970, the defendants knew that the use of tempered side and rear window glass was contributing to serious occupant ejection problems in side impact and rollover accidents. Published reports by Ford engineers and tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Organization confirmed the efficacy of these improvements, with NHTSA citing an 86 percent reduction in rollover fatalities for drivers of vehicles with improved side window glazing.

This wrongful death products liability case is pending in the Superior Court of California, County of Riverside, case number BLCOO4822.


BISNAR CHASE Auto Defect Attorneys represent people throughout the country who have been very seriously injured or lost a family member due to motor vehicle defects. The law firm has won a variety of challenging auto defect cases against General Motors, Ford Motor Co., Chrysler and many of the foreign manufacturers.