Bell-Reichert v. Ford Motor Company

  • Circuit Court of Madison County, Illinois01/01/2002
    Counsel: Mark M. Burden
    Client: Defendant Automobile Manufacturer
    Outcome: Defense Verdict

Synopsis:

Plaintiff alleged that after putting her vehicle in park, turning the ignition to the lock position and removing the keys, the vehicle began to roll as she was exiting it and knocked her down, resulting in injuries to her shoulder and arm. The vehicle continued down the hill and into a ditch and both air bags deployed.

The responding police officer reported that the vehicle was in park and the keys were out of the ignition when he arrived.

Defense experts examined the vehicle and found nothing wrong with the transmission or park mechanism.

The defense contended that the accident could not have happened as plaintiff described and that the only explanation for the accident was that the plaintiff left the vehicle in drive and the keys in the ignition as she exited the vehicle.

The defense contended that the plaintiff must have gone back to the vehicle, put it in park and removed the keys before the police arrived.

The jury returned a verdict for the defendant.

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