FACTS & ALLEGATIONS:
The Gustafson family set out in their 2002 Ford Excursion on an interstate trip in order to attend a college basketball game. Eric Gustafson (48) was driving with wife LuAnne (50) and three of his children as passengers. All occupants were wearing seat belts. While driving below the posted limit, the road suddenly hit a patch of black ice, entered a counter-clockwise spin, left the roadway, and rolled over, coming to rest on its driver’s side. During the incident, LuAnne died.
The Gustafsons sued Ford, alleging the Excursion was not crashworthy and was defective because it had a weak roof and seat belts that were not designed to properly restrain occupants in rollover crashes. In the Gustafson rollover, LuAnne’s seat belt webbing spooled out as the roof literally collapsed onto her head.
Drop testing of a similar Excursion demonstrates the weakness of this heavy vehicle’s roof structure and can be viewed here.
INJURIES & DAMAGES:
LuAnne Gustafson sustained a compressive fracture of C3 and blunt force trauma to her head and neck. She died at the accident scene.
RESULT: Plaintiffs settled with Ford for a confidential settlement.
Rob Ammons is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, in addition to being Board Certified in Civil Law by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. Rob Ammons’ law practice, The Ammons Law Firm, is located in Houston, Texas. The Ammons Law Firm practice is exclusively personal injury law, handling such cases as: tire defects, oil rig explosions, truck accidents, plant explosions, refinery accidents, wrongful death, post-collision fires, seat belt defects, airbag defects, SUV rollovers and workplace negligence.