Snell & Wilmer Defends Ford Focus Roof in Arizona Federal Court Trial

Snell & Wilmer attorneys Vaughn Crawford, Craig Logsdon and Amanda Sheridan recently represented Ford Motor Company in a case tried in the United States District Court for the District of Arizona in Tucson. The case involved a single-vehicle rollover near Willcox, Arizona in 2008. The Plaintiff, who was the seat-belted right front seat passenger, suffered injuries in the crash which resulted in her being rendered a quadriplegic.

Plaintiff claimed that the Ford Focus was defective because the roof crushed more than she believed it should have, and that the roof had a manufacturing defect in one of its welds. She claimed this roof crush caused her spinal fracture. Ford denied that the 2000 Ford Focus roof was defective and defended on the basis that this crash, in which the Focus rolled over 4 and one-half times, was in the uppermost severity level of all rollover accidents.  Ford defended that the roof performed reasonably and as expected under the extreme crash conditions, and that there was no weld manufacturing defect. Ford also presented evidence that Plaintiff’s spinal fracture was not caused by roof deformation, but rather by her head diving into the roof as the car rolled over.

The Ford trial team also included Snell & Wilmer paralegal assistant Avery Kobashi. The jury trial lasted for 17 days and ended on June 4, 2014.

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