The Ammons Law Firm has successfully negotiated the settlement of a wrongful death case against Ford on behalf of the husband and parents of a 20-year-old Texas woman who sustained fatal injuries when she was thrown from her 1997 Ford Explorer during a rollover crash.
The woman was traveling on a Texas highway when she began a lane change to the right but steered left upon discovering she could not complete the lane change safely. The Explorer reacted poorly to the steer and, with all four of its tires on the road, it began rolling over. The young woman was ejected from the SUV as it rolled and was critically injured. She died the next day.
According to Ammons, the Explorer was inherently unstable but could have easily been designed by Ford so that it would not roll over on flat, dry pavement in situations involving panic-motivated evasive maneuvers. Through changing the geometry, center of gravity and handling characteristics of the vehicle, it could have been made to be stable. But Ford chose not to make material changes to the Explorer line until 2002. The SUV also proved to be uncrashworthy in this rollover. As it rolled, two occupant protection features in the vehicle failed. First, the webbing of the seat belt the young woman was wearing spooled out and then its buckle released. Second, the side windows of the vehicle broke out. As the vehicle rolled, the driver and her seat belt began to come out of the vehicle through her broken out window. Then, when the buckle unlatched, she was completely ejected.
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.