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Ford Will Appeal $1.7 Billion Verdict Over Super Duty Roof Issue

Back in 2014, two people were killed when their 2002 Ford Super Duty F-250 pickup rolled over, a tragedy that prompted that couple’s children to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the automaker, claiming that models built between 1999 and 2016 had weak roofs that could crush occupants in the event of a rollover accident. The family was awarded $24 million by a jury, who determined that the Super Duty roof issue was 70 percent to blame, while the other 30 percent of the liability was assigned to Pep Boys, which reportedly installed the wrong size tires on the pickup. Ford has since been ordered to pay $1.7 billion in punitive damages over this Super Duty roof issue, but it is appealing that decision, according to The Guardian.

“While our sympathies go out to the Hill family, we do not believe the verdict is supported by the evidence, and we plan to appeal,” Ford said in a statement. William Withrow Jr, representing the automaker, also said it was wrong to suggest “that Ford and its engineers acted willfully and wantonly, with a conscious indifference for the safety of the people who ride in their cars when they made these decisions about roof strength.”

Around to the lawsuit, this Super Duty roof issue affects around 5.2 million pickups, while lawyers submitted evidence of 80 similar accidents where those trucks’ roofs were crushed in rollover accidents, leading to injuries or deaths in some cases. “More deaths and severe injuries are certain because millions of these trucks are on the road,” said co-counsel Gerald Davidson.

Earlier this year, The Blue Oval was also found liable after one person was killed when their 2014 Ford Mustang was struck by another vehicle and caught fire when the brake fluid reservoir leaked. A jury found that the faulty reservoir was the root cause of the fire, and awarded the family of the victim $7 million as a result.

We’ll have more on this and all of Ford’s active lawsuits soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for the latest Ford lawsuit news, Ford Super Duty news, and 24/7 Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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Comments

  1. Mrknowitall

    Serious injury and death from a vehicle accident is always tragic, and I would never make light of that.
    So the big question here is one of compliance: Did Ford SD trucks conform to roll-over stability and roof strength regs applicable when they were built? If a manufacturer is not protected from liability on a conforming product, what then, is a government standard good for?

    Reply
    1. Rob

      Exactly! Was there any violation of safety standard regulations?

      Reply
    2. The Gentle Grizzly

      GM had to settle two very expensive suits regarding gas tanks on vehicles that met or exceeded federal standards when manufactured. Meeting the standards met nothing to the tyrants with black dresses and wooden hammers to bang on their table. The awards were granted.

      Reply
  2. sayswhatothersarethinking

    These kinds of verdicts hurt all of us, well, except for the stinking, word twisting, theatrical and covetous lawyers. The bad news is, it probably won’t change as long as its the same people getting elected to public office.

    Reply
    1. The Gentle Grizzly

      With respect, it doesn’t matter who is in office. If it is heard before a jury, the jury will always side against the Big Bad Nasty Evil Capitalist Pig Corporation even if the standards are met or exceeded. The table bangers with the black dresses usually provide bad instructions to the jury, compounting the problem.

      Heaven knows Ford has more than their share of safety-related recalls, but, if the roof met the standard, then the appeal should be done.

      Reply
  3. Jim

    Reading this article disturbs me. The trends aimed against Ford from left leaning gavel hogs on the bench allow aggressive arguments that are unfounded and should never be allowed in court in the first place. Speed, weight and over/under sized tires all create factors not in control of the manufacturer. I do not see a manufacturer at fault here. I see a greedy system of court trolls trying to ruin another American company that will pass this judgement off to consumers in the price of a vehicle.

    Reply
  4. Donald

    These frivolous lawsuits by over zealous lawyers who are only trying to pad their own pockets, these Super Duty bodies are tough, speed and reckless driving wil cave any roof in, these lawsuits are costing everyone ,it must stop.

    Reply
    1. KC

      I absolutely agree.
      Ford safety is not inferior to GM or Toyota or Ram. Each manufacturer continuously strive to meet or improve intrinsic values over current examples of same type of vehicle competition in the market. The driver is the operator, and failure to use the vehicle within the safe perimeters, is his responsibility. Operating such a vehicle at a speed where a person do not understand the outcome risk, is not the manufacturers problem.

      Reply
  5. philip tilley

    The trouble with the American legal system is that people are always ready to sue, no wonder vehicle’s cost so much, people want to walk away from an accident without a scratch, bad driving and no test certificate’s, who is to say these vehicle’s are roadworthy.

    Reply
  6. Mikey moo

    Next lawsuit for ford is there recall on the windshield wiper arms that break! My truck is one of these. Ford has yet to put out the replacement parts for these trucks going on a year!! This is a safety issue and they apparently arnt taking this seriously!!!

    Reply
  7. Naranjo

    Accidents are a sad tragedy, no one wants to lose a family member. As far as blaming the manufacturer for bad driving habits or improper parts install, that’s just ridiculous. Saying that a family member would still be alive had the roof withstood rolling several times is the same as saying they’d still be alive had they not had an accident, or they’d still be alive had they not driven that day. Why should a manufacturer be held accountable for the way consumers drive their cars or for the repairs they have done and the parts they chose to install? Anyone remember the one where the kid had an accident going over 120 mph on tires rated at something slightly under that? Family sued because the tires weren’t rated at the speed the car was going. Unbelievable

    Reply
  8. Lebi Reid

    My worry is I have one of these 2002 superdutys now when I drive its always in my mind. I wanna address this issue what can be done to strengthen it ? A roll bar?

    Reply
  9. rmkilc

    This is what happens when a jury can’t comprehend extra zeros in a dollar amount. Absolutely absurd verdict.

    Reply
  10. Jw

    Naw…. The family just saw dollar signs and was looking for a big payout. Despicable.

    Reply

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