11.17.2005

Insanity

"MIAMI (Reuters) - A jury has ordered Ford Motor Co. to pay $61 million to the parents of a 17-year-old who died when the Ford Explorer in which he was riding rolled over, a lawyer said on Thursday. " ......story here. The amazing thing is that all of the damages were "compensatory" damages. That is, damages to compensate the parents for what they lost. Since we aren't talking about lost income (as in the death of a spouse), the damages had to be for such things as pain and suffering, loss of companionship, etc. Amazing. There were no punitive damages awarded. That is, damages to "punish" Ford for doing something wrong.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

You may think it's insanity, but would you feel the same way had it been your child? No amount of money can bring back that child or compensate those parents for their loss. But I'll bet if you compare the total amount of money Ford has made off selling Explorers which Ford knew, as has been proven over and over again in courts all over the U.S.,were designed defectively, this is a small sum. Do you think Ford would have any impetus to change these vehicles if the verdict in this case, and other Explorer cases, had been $50,000, $200,000, $1,000,000? No. In one of the first Explorer cases tried in this country, there was evidence consisting of Ford's own documents that they knew when the vehicles came off the assembly line that it was defective. But their number crunchers determined that even if they had to pay millions and millions of dollars in lawsuit verdicts, their profits would be huge. The exact same thing happened with the Ford Pinto 20 years ago. If occasionally a family receives a huge verdict like this, I don't care--it is the only way to get the attention of the corporations. I usually agree with you Barry, but don't on this one. You are a lawyer. Respect the jury system. They heard all the evidence and made that award. Perhaps it was not insanity, but justice.

Anonymous said...

I agree that a message should be sent to Ford, but there is just something terribly wrong when you get rich from someone's tragic death, and I know it happens all the time, but I just don't understand the substantial amounts of money awarded by juries or judges.

Anonymous said...

Barry, let's change the facts. Imagine that it was your child. Now imagine that his or her death was totally preventable that that Ford knew when they marketed this vehicle it was dangerous, but decided it was cheaper to sell it and pay the lawsuit awards than to change it and save lives. The insanity is not the jury award. We don't know what that jury saw and heard. People see $61 million, and automatically say its insanity. Get rich, 8:53? How else is the system going to get Ford's attention? Let's not forget they lost a child. I'm sure they would gladly give the money back to bring him back, but award money is all they system can do. And it's what corporations understand. The insanity is that people are more upset about a family who lost a son receiving $61 million and "getting rich" than about Ford selling cars they knew were dangerous in the first place. Anyone, including you, who thinks otherwise will change their tune if and when, God forbid, it happens to them. Then it will be justice, like anon846 said.

Anonymous said...

Guess the posters to this blog must all be against gov Perry and George W's tort reform stuff. They want to limit these legal awards as it's to hard on American business and Dr.s

Anonymous said...

You think getting rich is justice? If what we are seeking is justice, then why doesn't someone bring CRIMINAL charges against the powers that be at Ford if it is a fact that this company knew they were selling defective vehicles that could cost people their lives? And don't speak for me, I am not more upset that the family got money than that Ford supposedly knew and decided to go ahead anyway. I'm not upset at all, that's what the jury decided, so be it. But Ford should be punished, not only monetarily, but criminally, THAT would be justice.

Anonymous said...

I think the point that Barry was making was that the $61 million was compensatory damages, not punitive. You want to teach the company a lesson, you award millions in punitive damages. That's what punitive means -- punishment. Compensatory is like the jury saying "This boy was literally worth $61 million to his parents."

Anonymous said...

Well my kids are worth way more than 61 million.,..there is not enough money in the world to compensate a parent for the loss of a child! I agree criminal charges against that company would be far more effective. Send a few of them to jail for quite a few years and introduce them to big bubba and I bet they would all change their ways.

spiritrider said...

hey the tort reform will hurt america. in america today i see people getting massive awards from suits that shouldnt ie the mcdonalds hot coffee and the husband for not beingto do his marriage duties but if the tort reform happens what happens when some like me or you is hurt or killed by a companys negelance well if we have the tort refom we wont be able to go after the large sums and i believethat as long as a person is not doing any thing stupid or breaking the law at the time and somthing bad happens to them due to a companys wrong doing then they shoudl be awarded the money and not told how much they may seek by the goverment.

Anonymous said...

spiritrider, I think you make a few valid points but without the benefit of any simple punctuation, it's hard to determine. Whatcha got against commas and periods?

Anonymous said...

That was funny Anon:7:22, I am still laughing!

Anonymous said...

If the parents truly believed that the Ford Explorer was unsafe for their child to be driving, what type of litigation awaits them for knowingly placing their child in such danger?

Anonymous said...

From what I've read, the driver of the Ford has fallen asleep and lost control of his vehicle. I understand one of the arguments was if the vehicle didn't have a defect in its handling, in its steering, they would have been able to steer the Explorer back in the road. I am totally saddened by their loss, but where do you draw the line. I mean, the driver fell asleep. Steering defect or not, it doesn't really matter if you fall asleep.