As Ford Authority reported back in August 2022, The Blue Oval was ordered to pay $1.7 billion in punitive damages as a direct result of a lawsuit filed by the children of two people killed when their 2002 Ford Super Duty pickup rolled over. That lawsuit alleged that models built between 1999 and 2016 had weak roofs that could crush occupants in the event of a rollover accident, a claim that the automaker has not only denied as these trucks met federal safety standards at the time, but also filed an appeal over following the court’s decision and later asked for a new trial. Regardless, a number of other roof crush Ford Super Duty lawsuits have been filed since then in the U.S. and Canada, though one of them was recently dismissed, while three of them were consolidated into one this past April. Now, yet another Super Duty lawsuit has been filed over this same issue, according to Car Complaints.
This new lawsuit – Rodney Philbeck v. Ford Motor Company – was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington by plaintiff Rodney Philbeck and the law firm Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP, and alleges that Philbeck was permanently paralyzed after his 2003 Ford F-350 Super Duty lost control after hitting a patch of ice on the road and rolling over at least once, at which point the roof collapsed.
The portion of the driver’s side roof reportedly collapsed more so than the passenger side, which ultimately broke Philbeck’s neck and partially severed his spine, leaving him paralyzed from the chest down, according to the lawsuit. As has been the case with the aforementioned lawsuits, this one blames a “defective roof design that Ford knew was extraordinarily weak.”
When “Ford was designing the PHN131 platform in the 90s, there was no federal roof crush resistance standard applicable to trucks of their size,” the filing reads, alleging that Ford could have designed a stronger roof for its Super Duty pickups of that particular era, but chose to wait until “when new government regulations finally forced it to do so” in 2017.