Judgment Against Ford for Throttle Defect Upheld | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

Last week, Ford Motor Co. and a car dealer in Freehold, New Jersey (NJ), were held to be primarily responsible for an SUV rollover accident that left a women with a useless arm.

The accident occurred in 2000, and Rebekah Zakrocki testified during a 2007 civil trial (Zakrocki v. Ford Motor Co., A-5769-06/5799-06) that her gas pedal stuck to the floor while she was driving on the Garden State Parkway. Zakrocki’s 1997 Ford Explorer took off, hit several other vehicles and eventually flipped over. Ford recalled its 1997 Explorers to repair a throttle defect that caused the device to stick open even after a driver took his or her foot off the accelerator.

An appeals court upheld a jury award of more than $8 million in damages to Zakrocki, finding that Ford and the dealer, Freehold Ford, shared fault for selling an Explorer with a throttle defect. Because Zakrocki was not wearing a seat belt, she was found to be 28 percent at fault for her injuries. Ford may appeal the decision further.

I applaud the original jury and the appellate judge for holding Ford and the Ford dealer accountable for making and selling an SUV with a potentially fatal defect. As a lawyer with decades of experience representing victims of automobile accidents that were not their fault, I know how hard it can be for people to get justice.

About the Editors: Shapiro & Appleton& Duffan personal injury law firm (VA-NC law offices ) edits the injury law blogs Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard, and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as a pro bono service to consumers. Lawyers with Shapiro & Appleton& Duffan are licensed in VA, NC, SC, WV, DC and KY. They handle car, truck, railroad, medical negligence cases and more.