Hearing in product liability lawsuit against Ford continued

Alejandro de los Rios Sep. 21, 2010, 1:48pm


A hearing for defense motions to limit the scope of evidence introduced in a product liability lawsuit against Ford has been continued without date in Orleans Parish Civil District Court.

James McQuilkin is suing the Ford Motor Co. and the Bill Watson Ford dealership on behalf of his family after they were involved in a single-car accident in a 1996 Ford Explorer SUV. The suit alleges that the cause of the accident was defective engineering, which caused a tire blowout, causing the SUV to flip over several times.

New Orleans attorney Robert Charbonnet filed the original petition for damages in August 2000.

Covington attorneys Michael Pulaski and Lance Williams are representing Ford.

Orleans Parish Judge Rosemary Ledet is overseeing the case.

In May, defense counsel for Ford filed eight motions, most of which seek to limit the scope of testimony and evidence that may be presented should the case reach trial. The defense is seeking to exclude testimony and evidence from other accidents involving Ford Explorers and other SUVs, the testimony of Ford engineers and internal Ford memos and to exclude any testimony or evidence related to the Firestone tire recall from the 10 years ago.

This suit had previously included the Bridgestone/Firestone Tire company as defendant. Bridgestone/Firestone was dismissed via summary judgment in June 2006 when it was found that the tire in question was never recovered and thus could not be examined for defects.

Counsel for Ford argues that Bridgestone's dismissal is also grounds for Ford's dismissal in the suit after the defense deposed James McQuilkin and found that the Explorer in question had been sold off and destroyed, thus preventing from defense experts from properly examining the vehicle.

Orleans Parish Case 2000-12308

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