A Laurel, Mississippi jury returned a verdict against Ford for a 2001 rollover accident according to a report by ESPN. Brian Cole a star prospect for the New York Mets franchise was killed when his Ford Explorer overturned in March of 2001. The family brought the products liability lawsuit against Ford claiming the SUV was defective and unreasonably dangerous. In addition to putting on evidence of the defectiveness of the vehicle, the family also offered testimony from the former general manager of the Mets to establish that Cole was a budding superstar. The case was settled before the punitive damage phase of the trial for a confidential amount. This was the third time the case was brought to trial. The first two trials ended in a hung jury.
One interesting aspect of this verdict is that it only takes 9 of 12 jurors to agree to return a verdict. In this instance, 11 of 12 jurors agreed to the verdict. In Alabama, a jury’s verdict must be unanimous. Click here for more information on Alabama product liability law.