Law Offices of David G. Arganian, Seattle, WA

Court tosses $43M award against Ford in crash case

The Illinois Supreme Court has thrown out an Illlinois jury's $43 million award against Ford Motor Co. in a product-liability lawsuit linked to a fiery 2003 crash that killed a Missouri man and disfigured his wife.

The high court, in a Sept. 22 ruling made public Wednesday, among other things found that the lawsuit on Dora and John Jablonski's behalf did not give sufficient evidence for a jury to conclude Ford negligently "breached its duty of reasonable care" in designing the Lincoln Town Car involved in the wreck.

Justices also found that Illinois law does not require a company to warn of defects undetected before the product left the manufacturer.

Pinning the tragic wreck on the distracted motorist who hit the Jablonskis from behind at 60 mph, Ford said in an emailed statement Thursday it was "gratified" by the Illinois Supreme Court's ruling that "recognized and corrected the substantial efforts and deficiencies in the earlier proceedings."

The automaker said the 1993 Town Car exceeded all federal crash safety standards and received a five-star safety rating — the highest possible — from the U.S. government.

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