Bronco Forum - Full Size Ford Bronco Forum banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,097 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Detroit Free Press report
Court trims $290-million jury verdict against Ford

New ruling answers U.S. Supreme Court
November 26, 2003

BY DAVID KRAVETS
ASSOCIATED PRESS

A California appeals court on Tuesday reduced from $290 million to $23.7 million the punitive damages a jury awarded a family for a Ford Bronco rollover accident in which three people were killed and two injured.

The Fifth District Court of Appeal, based in Fresno, Calif., revised the nation's largest product-liability award to conform with a U.S. Supreme Court decision that in April capped large awards.

The decision, the highest award to be reduced under the high court's precedent, is one of dozens of damages verdicts that courts across the country are reviewing because of the Supreme Court's edict.

The California case involved a rollover of a 1978 Ford Bronco near Ceres, about 80 miles south of Sacramento, in which three members of the Romo family were killed and two others injured when the vehicle overturned several times, causing the sport-utility vehicle's roof to cave in.

The survivors sued the Dearborn-based automaker and in 1999 a Stanislaus County civil jury awarded $290 million in punitive damages.

That sum, at the time equal to 1.2 percent of Ford's net worth, was meant to punish Ford for what a state appeals court found was "despicable conduct" when it upheld the original jury award. The family's attorney, Joe Carcione, said Ford knew the Bronco "would crush flat as a pancake in a rollover."

The California Supreme Court also upheld the award. But in May, the U.S. Supreme Court sent the case back to the Fresno appeals court to reduce the verdict.

The high court returned the case after ruling that punitive damages generally should be about four times the amount of damages a jury awarded to compensate victims for their actual losses. The justices set the precedent in a case concerning a $145-million punitive judgment against State Farm Insurance Co.

"The message was to put the brakes on these monster punitive awards," said Tina Imre, a Los Angeles lawyer and punitive damages expert.

In the Romo case, the jury awarded the family $290 million in punitive damages to punish corporate misconduct and $5 million in compensatory damages. That 58-1 ratio was reduced Tuesday to a roughly 5-1 ratio.

"We are pleased the court has recognized State Farm fundamentally altered the standards governing punitive damages awards," said Ford attorney Theodore Boutrous. He was not sure whether Ford would appeal in hopes of further lowering the award.

This year, in upholding the $290-million judgment, the same appeals court said ample evidence of corporate wrongdoing supported the huge payout.

The Bronco's roof was made partially of steel and fiberglass. As the vehicle rolled, the steel collapsed, killing Ramon Romo, the front seat passenger. The fiberglass also broke loose, striking and killing his wife, Salustia Romo, and his child, Ramiro Romo. All three were wearing seat belts.

Erwin Chemerinsky, the Romo family's attorney, said he was mulling an appeal
Detroit Free Press report
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,260 Posts
Maybe they shouldn't have rolled it. It's a sad thing, but shit happens. I would rather see someone sue ford becuase they stopped making the Bronco
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
419 Posts
people just dont know how to drive anymore. if your driving an SUV at 75 mph and you jerk the wheel really hard, your gonna roll. common sense saves lives.
Tim
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
245 Posts
Common sense and being responsible for your own actions are seriosly lacking in todays world. It always seems that its someone elses fault or the company with the deep pockets should pay for your mistakes. I'm going to stop now before I really get started.:banghead
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
245 Posts
gearrat said:
what the forget to say is that he was passing vehicles on the right shoulder of the road in the gravel

Like Paul Harvey said" and now for the rest of the story"


:banghead
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
463 Posts
its sad how people will sue for anything these days. i bet i could ram a thumb tack into my hand & with the right lawyer, successfully sue the maker for making it too sharp.
 

·
Cadillac of Men
Joined
·
3,787 Posts
lived to tell about it? rollin a 78 over aint nothin!

I bought a 79 in new jersey (im in ct) about 2 years ago now. it was 500 bucks. the breaks werent perfect, but we did some work on em, and decided to drive 300 miles home. Because of the work done, we got caught in a snow storm on the way home. My friend was driving at the time. We were 10 miles shy of the NY state border, when my friend tried to change lanes. Mind you, NJ wasnt plowing the roads for some reason. He moved from a fairly clear lane, to a lane with hardpacked snow. I was following and could tell he would not be able to correct (~55mph). He went straight off the road, into a ditch on the side of the highway and stood the truck up on its nose. Then it fell over sideways on a rolled along 1-2 times as I passed him in the 'chase' vehicle. Mind you this all happened in less than a couple seconds. The truck landed on its wheels, facing traffic, in the break down lane.

Did the fiberglass cab break? Yes.
Did the roof collapse? No.
Was anyone remotely hurt? No.
Did we drive it the rest of the way home? Hell f*ckin yeah.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
267 Posts
How the hell can you sue over a problem with a 30y.o. truck? God only knows what someone did to it during that time...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,063 Posts
no roll bar? my 78 has one
 

·
Slow Noob
Joined
·
1,220 Posts
what a bunch of worthless pricks. people like them need to be shot. are they too stupid to realize that it's not a car and you're not supposed to pass on the right side of the road in the gravel. that's what happens when people are in too much of a hurry or they're acting like they're unstoppable. the way i see it, the vehicle had to pass crash tests and stuff in order to be put into production. i don't think the family should get anything but a one way ticket to see satan for being stupid. i say we find the lawyer and show him what broncos can do and show him pictures of some roll overs from a few members here to prove that they're safe.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
23,563 Posts
soaker2000 said:
no roll bar? my 78 has one

if that is stock from ford it is called a GT bar and they never had intentions of it holding up in a roll over.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top