Ford Authority

Ford Decides To Appeal $1.7 Billion Roof Strength Verdict

Back in the fall of 2022, Ford was ordered to pay $1.7 billion in punitive damages over an allegation that the roofs present on 1999-2016 Ford Super Duty models aren’t strong enough to hold up in the event of a rollover crash, a decision that stemmed from a wrongful death lawsuit originally filed in 2014. However, that wasn’t the end of this ongoing legal saga, as a large number of additional lawsuits have been filed since that decision, all while Ford continues to fight it in court.

At first, Ford asked for a new trial, arguing that the judge at the time barred the automaker from providing evidence that it says would prove other factors could have contributed to the death of the two Super Duty occupants in question. However, that request wasn’t granted, and just this past February, another Super Duty roof crush lawsuit was revived following an appeal. Now, the fate of the original roof crush lawsuit is set to be determined by a Georgia appeals court, according to Car Complaints.

The Court of Appeals of the State of Georgia will ultimately decide whether or not Ford will be forced to pay $1.7 billion to the plaintiffs in the case, who are the children of the two people killed in that accident after a tire blew out – though that tire was the incorrect one for the Super Duty, and was installed by Pep Boys. The truck rolled over three times as a result, and the plaintiffs claimed that its weak roof was to blame for the resulting deaths of its occupants.

The lawsuit alleges that 1999-2016 Super Duty pickups are all impacted by this issue, resulting in multiple other deaths in at least 80 similar rollover crashes. However, Ford has long argued that these roofs met all government safety standards at the time, though those standards were updated in 2012 and The Blue Oval wasn’t required to adhere to them until 2017.

In its appeal, Ford argued that the “runaway verdict is the product of passion and prejudice arising from the inflammatory instructions the trial court gave the jury, telling them that they must accept as fact – though unproven – that Ford willfully inflicted harm on an unsuspecting public,” adding that the “vast disparity between a punitive and compensatory damages – well over $1 billion here – confirms that this punitive-damages award is infected by bias.”

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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