Ford 2000 Expedition Tempered Windows Prove Deadly
In 2004, a reckless driver ran a red light and broadsided a 2000 Ford Expedition, changing the lives of the Marroquin family forever. The traffic collision in Nueces County, Texas resulted in the tragic death of 10-year-old Matthew Marroquin and injured other members of the family.
The Marroquins sued Ford, alleging that the Expedition's seat belt spooled-out, but claimed that the use of tempered glass in the side windows was primarily responsible for the fatal injuries incurred by Matthew. The boy was wearing his seat belt when the vehicle's side tempered glass window shattered and Matthew hit the ground as the Expedition rolled, his family said.
"Tempered glass on the sides of a vehicle, instead of laminated glass used on front windshields, has resulted in many needless injuries and deaths," said nationally recognized auto defect lawyer, Brian Chase. "In numerous rollover accidents, laminated glass would have been far more effective in preventing people from being ejected from their vehicles in rollovers."
The family's attorney presented a crash video produced by Ford to show the difference between tempered glass and laminated glass. Laminated glass, which includes a layer of plastic sandwiched between two layers of glass, has been proven not to shatter and come apart like tempered glass can. The family's attorney claimed Ford was aware that the tempered glass was insufficient, but chose not to use this type of glass because it was more expensive.
"Regrettably only a handful of automakers, mostly luxury vehicles, have made the switch to laminated glass in their side and rear windows," noted nationally recognized auto defect lawyer, John Bisnar, adding, "none have admitted to safety concerns with the tempered glass."
The jury deliberated about six hours and found that the 2000 Expedition had defectively designed occupant restraint and protection systems. The jury awarded $22,010,877 in actual damages and $20 million in exemplary damages. According to court documents, the jury also decided that Ford was 90 percent responsible for Matthew's death and that Ruth Ellen Olson, the driver of the vehicle that struck Marroquin's Expedition was 10 percent responsible for Matthew's death.
Marroquin's attorney was satisfied with the outcome and noted that had the Expedition been equipped with laminated side glass windows, it would have protected Matthew.
Ford said reckless driving caused the accident, and that the company will appeal. The automaker released an official statement, saying, "Our heartfelt concern goes out to everyone affected by this accident, caused when a reckless driver ran a red light and broad-sided the Marroquins' vehicle. This tragic result would have occurred in virtually any other vehicle."
"The suit is one of a growing number of actions against automakers who should have used stronger glass in side and rear windows to prevent ejections and partial ejections," noted John Bisnar.
As trying as it was for the Marroquins to stand up to Ford we applaud their efforts. Their actions will make vehicles safer for all of us. While the lawsuits we file against Ford will not bring loved ones back, they serve to alert the general public about the dangers of these vehicles. These actions serve to hold automakers accountable for their continued inappropriate choices of cost savings over people saving.
Lawsuits, like Marroquins' are necessary to encourage automakers to use laminated side glass windows, since the National Transportation Highway Safety Administration does not have the backbone to mandate laminated side glass window use in new automobiles.
The Marroquin family has suffered a devastating loss and we wish to extend our sincerest condolences to them.
About Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys
Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys is a national auto defect law firm that represents people who have been very seriously injured in an auto accident due to an auto defect. They have won numerous cases for their clients against Ford, General Motors, Chrysler and most of the Japanese manufacturers. For more information, visit: www.autodefect.com
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