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June 4, 2004
"Jury: Ford Must Pay $370 Million to Accident Victim"
In one of the largest settlements ever against the Ford Motor Company, a San Diego jury ordered the automaker to pay nearly $370 million to a San Diego County woman paralyzed in a 2002 rollover accident. Benetta Buell-Wilson lost control of her 1997 Ford Explorer when she swerved to avoid an object in the road. The Explorer rolled more than four times, paralyzing Buell-Wilson from the waist down.
A San Diego jury found for the victim, who claimed that the SUV was faulty. Buell-Wilson offered to knock $100 million off the award if Ford promised to recall all Explorers from 1997 on to fix the defects. Ford refused to comply with the recall demands, claiming the vehicles exceed federal safety requirements, and plans to appeal the verdict.
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