A Supreme Court Ruling Allows Car Accident Victims to Sue Ford Outside of Michigan
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™
In two recent lawsuits, Ford Motor Company argued that accident victims in Minnesota and Montana were not eligible to file against them due to jurisdictional restrictions. However on March 25th, 2021, The Supreme Court of the United States ruled that Ford can be sued in state courts outside of Michigan due to the strength of connection between the victims’ claims and the company’s activities in other states.
The accidents in question occurred in Montana and Minnesota in 2015.
In the Montana accident, Markkaya Gullett was killed when the tread separated from one of her tires, causing a fatal accident. The accident that occurred in Minnesota was not fatal but resulted in traumatic brain injuries for passenger Adam Bandemer when his airbag failed to deploy. Whenever injuries sustained in a car accident are caused or contributed to by a potentially defective car part, the injured party and their family may be eligible to file a product liability claim against the vehicle manufacturer. Product liability claims may cover damages including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
Ford is incorporated in Delaware and headquartered in Michigan.
Ford vehicles and other products are sold and marketed both nationally and globally. In response to these two accident lawsuits, Ford argued that they could not be tried in the states where the wrecks occurred because the vehicles were designed and manufactured elsewhere. The popular motor vehicle company pointed out that the only reason their vehicles ended up in Montana and Minnesota was due to reselling or relocating on behalf of the vehicle owners. However, both states’ Supreme Court rejected this argument, stating that the link between Ford and the vehicles in question was strong enough to litigate in-state.
This decision is expected to make litigation more accessible to accident victims across the country.
Whenever a car accident or injuries are caused or contributed to by negligence in the design or manufacturing of a car part, the injured party or their family in the event of a fatality may have a claim. In the past, jurisdictional restrictions have been used as a defense to prevent car accident victims from pursuing litigation; however, the result of these lawsuits and their journey to the Supreme Court of the United States will likely offer viability to many more such injury cases across the board, regarding not only Ford but other vehicle manufacturers as well.
If you or a loved one were involved in a car accident and suspect one or more parts may be defective, reach out to a car accident attorney in your area to investigate your case.