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Verdict Details

Verdict Details

Garcia v. Ford Motor Company

September 26, 2013

TORRANCE, CALIFORNIA – Yukevich | Cavanaugh is proud to announce a full defense (take nothing) verdict handed down late yesterday by a Superior Court jury in one of the nation's first lawsuits involving a claim that a vehicle should have been equipped with an inflatable seat-belt.

A jury of five women and seven men took just over an hour to find that Ford Motor Company’s F-150 truck is not defective despite claims from two plaintiffs that the F-150’s air bag and restraints failed to protect them from injury in a severe, multiple vehicle accident.

The case of Isaura Garcia and Celia Morando v. Ford Motor Company, arose out of an accident that happened nearly three years ago in the City of Compton.  Ms. Garcia was driving the F-150 southbound on the 710.  As she exited the freeway, Ms. Garcia pressed down on the gas pedal instead of the brake pedal causing the F-150 to accelerate before crashing into a guard rail, rear-ending a Honda Civic, impacting a Lexus LS400 head on, and ultimately striking a utility pole.  

As a result of the multiple collisions, both plaintiffs sustained neck, spine, rib, and sternum fractures.
 
Attorneys Steven Smelser and Raymond Hua, partners at Yukevich | Cavanaugh, successfully argued to the jury that the accident was caused by the actions of the driver and that the vehicle was well designed.  The F-150’s restraints systems were advanced and state of the art, and that the vehicle protected the plaintiffs in this very severe high-speed accident. 

Plaintiffs claimed that the F-150 was defective in its design, and that the vehicle should have been equipped with an inflatable seat belt, a seat integrated restraint, a larger air bag, and a retractor-mounted seat belt pretensioner.

"This is a complete victory for Ford Motor Company, and for Ford as a leader in advanced vehicle safety systems," says Mr. Smelser. "Yukevich | Cavanaugh would like to thank these thoughtful jurors who unanimously agreed with Ford that the accident was caused by the actions of the driver and that the vehicle was well designed, its restraints systems were advanced and state of the art, and that this vehicle protected the plaintiffs from even more serious injuries in this very severe accident.”