Ford Motor Co.
’s shares slid about 6% in morning trading Monday, following news of a $1.7 billion jury verdict involving a fatal rollover accident in one of its older-model heavy-duty trucks.
A jury in Georgia on Friday reached the verdict after a three-week trial, determining punitive damages should be imposed on
for selling 5.2 million Super Duty trucks that the plaintiffs’ lawyers argued had dangerously weak roofs vulnerable to collapsing in a rollover crash.
The lawsuit, brought by the children of the victims who died in the crash, centered on a 2014 accident in which a couple driving a 2002 Ford F-250 truck were killed when the right front tire blew out and the pickup rolled over. The victims, Melvin and Voncile Hill, were crushed inside the truck, according to court records.
“While our sympathies go out to the Hill family, we don’t believe the verdict is supported by the evidence, and we plan to appeal,” Ford said Sunday. “In the meantime, we aren’t going to litigate this matter through the news media.”
The verdict is believed to be one of Georgia’s largest and puts a spotlight on other older-model Super Duty trucks sold by Ford over a roughly 17-year period that the plaintiffs’ lawyers have argued have a similar roof design.
(More to come)
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