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pickup truck accident

Ford to Pay $1.7 Billion Settlement in 2014 Truck Accident Case

A jury in Georgia has ordered Ford to pay a $1.7 billion settlement in relation to a 2014 case in which a couple was killed in a pickup truck crash.

Georgian couple Melvin and Voncil Hill were killed when their 2002 Ford F-250 truck rolled over in April 2014. Kim and Adam Hill, the couple’s children, sued Ford, claiming that the roofs of their pickup trucks were “dangerously defective.”

According to Reuters, plaintiffs’ lawyers submitted evidence of almost 80 similar rollover incidents in which Ford trucks had their roofs crushed, resulting in serious injuries and even deaths. 

“An award of punitive damages to hopefully warn people riding around in the millions of those trucks Ford sold was the reason the Hill family insisted on a verdict,” said Butler, as quoted by AP.

According to defense attorney William Withrow Jr.’s closing arguments, the carmaker had to defend itself against accusations “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.”

Ford will appeal this $1.7 billion verdict, citing a lack of evidence against the company’s old Super Duty models.

“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,” said the carmaker in a statement to The Associated Press this past weekend.

Meanwhile, Butler appeared to be taken aback by all the evidence in the case: “I used to buy Ford trucks. I thought nobody would sell a truck with a roof this weak. The damn thing is useless in a wreck. You might as well drive a convertible.”

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