The Ammons Law Firm has successfully negotiated the settlement of a wrongful death case against Ford Motor Company and Cooper Tire & Rubber Company on behalf of the wife and children of a 38-year-old Arizona man who was killed in a rollover crash.
The rollover occurred when a rear tire on the man’s 2001 Ford Explorer Sport Trac experienced tread separation. The vehicle responded by skidding out of control, leaving the roadway and rolling over. As it rolled, the roof crushed in on the belted driver, killing him.
The tire that failed was a Mesa A/P radial tire built by Cooper Tire & Rubber Company. The materials Cooper used to make the tire did not contain anti-oxidants to help them resist deterioration over time, and the tire’s design did not incorporate a number of features known to improve durability. The Explorer Sport Trac was designed and manufactured by Ford with narrow track width and a high center of gravity, making it prone to rollover under a number of foreseeable scenarios. It earned only two out of five stars from NHTSA for rollover resistance. When there is a rear tire disablement, the Sport Trac becomes uncontrollable, its rear end breaking away from the vehicle’s original path and then reacting poorly to emergency steering input. In this loss of control circumstances, the Sport Trac is even more likely to roll over. Ford knew of ways by which both the stability and the handling of the Explorer could be improved but chose not to implement them. And in such rollover crashes, given that the Sport Trac’s roof is exceptionally weak, Ford knew that it could easily collapse, compromising the safety cell around the vehicle’s occupants. Yet Ford did nothing to strengthen the roof structure, choosing to ignore even the advice of its own engineers.
The Ammons Law Firm is located in Houston, Texas, and practices personal injury law, including cases involving: tire defects, oil rig explosions, truck accidents, plant explosions, refinery accidents, wrongful death, post-collision fires, seat belt defects, seatback defects, airbag defects, SUV rollovers, and workplace negligence.