Tampa Woman Loses Lawsuit Over Allegedly Defective Airbag
A Tampa woman recently lost a lawsuit against Ford after her vehicle struck a tree. The woman claimed that her airbag on her Ford Explorer failed to deploy resulting in a worsening of her injuries. The accident occurred after the plaintiff ran her car off the road and struck a tree.
The plaintiff claimed that she suffered a brain injury as well as injuries to her face and rib cage. The basis for her lawsuit was the fact that her injuries would have been less severe had the airbag correctly deployed.
Airbag failure lawsuits are among the most common auto-part liability lawsuits. When airbags fail to deploy, deploy too forcefully, or don’t deploy correctly, those who survive serious car accidents end up with injuries that are far more severe than those who have functioning airbags. These lawsuits are generally winnable. But this one went before a jury, and the plaintiff lost. Below, we’ll discuss why the jury may have sided with Ford in this lawsuit.
A Theory of Why the Airbag Failed to Deploy
In every auto-part lawsuit filed against a major auto manufacturer, the plaintiffs must come up with a reason why the auto-part failed. In this case, Ford insisted that the airbag behaved as expected given the force of the impact and the speed of the crash.
Ford also contended that the woman’s driving was at least partly to blame for the accident. They argued that the plaintiff failed to slow down for a curve when there were ample warning signs. That was the reason why her car left the roadway and struck a tree.
It is unclear how hard she struck the tree. Ford obviously contended that the force of the impact was not sufficient enough to deploy the airbag. However, the woman claims that she has rib and head injuries from the force of the crash.
In this case, the plaintiffs could not provide the jury with a sufficient basis to prove that the product had even failed, let alone that it was the cause of the woman’s injuries.
Product Liability, Auto Part Liability, and Airbag Liability
Essentially, product liability lawsuits are the easiest to litigate because the plaintiff need not prove the defendant was negligent. The negligence is assumed if the product injures a customer who is using the product in a way that could be easily anticipated by the manufacturer.
In the case mentioned above, the mere fact that the woman sustained an injury is not evidence that the product itself was defective or malfunctioned. It may work like that in some cases, but airbags have a threshold of force. If the airbag deploys every time the vehicle comes to a stop, that is also a defective airbag. The plaintiff, unfortunately, failed to prove that the airbag malfunctioned in her case.
Talk to a Miami Personal Injury Attorney
If a dangerous or defective product malfunctions causing you injury, call the Miami personal injury attorneys at the office of Alan Goldfarb, P.A. today to schedule a free consultation.