$132.5 Million Awarded in New York (NY) Rollover Retrial | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

According to Lawyersusa.com, a third trial for the rollover accident that killed 22 year-old New York (NY) Mets prospect Brian Cole was won against Ford for $132.5 million. It has been nine years since the accident, and mistrials were declared twice before, once for juror misconduct and once for a hung jury.

The lead counsel for the plaintiffs put forth the theory that the 2001 Explorer driven by Cole at the time of the accident was defective: it rolled over too easily when he swerved to avoid another car. Ford tried to claim that Cole was speeding when the crash occurred-a claim that was disputed by the company’s own accident reconstruction expert.

Had Cole survived, he was expected to be an all-star player like Alber Pujoles, Torii Hunter, and Jose Reyes, with an earning capacity of $120 million.

The accident occurred when Cole, and outfielder, left spring training in March 2001 and headed to New York to start his first season with the Mets. On Highway 8 west of Pensacola, Florida (FL), Cole swerved to avoid another vehicle that pulled into his lane. His SUV rolled over three and half times and he died within minutes. His family sued Ford for wrongful death.

Our sincerest condolences to Mr. Cole’s family. Although this was a victory in the courtroom, the grief they feel over his loss will likely remain with them forever. If you are attempting to merge into another lane, always approach at a safe speed, put on your signal, and wait for traffic to open up. You may be able to prevent a tragic loss like the one the Cole family suffered.