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Business Week has reported that Ford Motor Company was among US companies with the most product defects.

Both plaintiffs and defendant companies are increasingly willing to take product liability cases to trial, according to defense lawyer John Beisner.

For plaintiffs, there is a perception that juries are more open to arguments about corporate behavior. However, Victor Schwartz, another defense attorney, said some corporate defense lawyers underestimate jurors perceptions.

Several companies — from drug manufacturers to tobacco firms to auto makers have been hit hard when juries found their products defective.

Ford has lost at least four defective-vehicle cases of $10 million or more in the last year.

The United States Supreme Court just recently declined Ford’s appeal on Ford Explorer stability and rollover case. In that case, a California woman was paralyzed after her Explorer became unstable and rolled over. A California jury awarded her more than $300 million in damages. That damage amount was later reduced by the trial court and later again by the Court of Appeals. The United States Supreme Court refused Ford’s appeal, sanctioning the final award of $83 million, including $55 million in punitive damages.

You can learn more about auto defect dangers at our blog or at our web site.

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