Cooper Tire and Ford Compensate Woman Paralyzed in Rollover Crash

The Ammons Law Firm has successfully concluded a product liability case against Cooper Tire and Ford on behalf of a spinal cord injured Florida woman and her young children. The woman was belted in the front passenger seat when her 2000 Ford Explorer flipped over following the tread separation failure of the Cooper tire positioned at the left rear of the SUV. The vehicle was caused to skid across the roadway and roll over.

In their lawsuit, the Plaintiffs alleged that the tire – a Futura Scrambler – came apart because Cooper designed and built it with defects. Specifically, the tire was designed without a wedge between the belts to reduce stress and without a full nylon cap ply to offer effective resistance to progression of belt separation. During the tire’s manufacture, foreign material made its way into the tire’s rubber compound and the tire’s internal components were prevented from forming the strong bond necessary to make the tire durable.

Plaintiffs alleged that Ford designed the Explorer with an unstable geometry and with handling characteristics that made it all but impossible to control in the event of a rear tire failure. Ammons alleged that Ford knew of the vehicle’s propensity for loss of directional control under such circumstances and even knew how to correct the problem but chose not to. The Plaintiffs additionally contended that the Explorer was not crashworthy since its roof collapsed and the webbing of the woman’s seat belt spooled out. Despite wearing her belt, the Plaintiff was allowed to impact the collapsing roof, causing a spinal cord injury that has left her with incomplete quadriplegia.

In addition to Ford and Cooper, Ammons included two other parties in the lawsuit. First, because the seat belt failed to offer restraint, its manufacturer was sued. Second, the auto repair business that installed the defective tire was sued because the tire was already 9 years old and should not have been placed into service.

Each of these parties settled with the woman (and her children who sought to be compensated for permanent loss of the services, comfort, companionship and society of their catastrophically injured mother). As part of the settlement, the defendants required that the amount of compensation be kept confidential.

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, air bag defects, SUV rollovers and workplace negligence.