grimshaw v ford motor company plaintiff

Product liability and motor vehicle safety. The impact ignited a fire in the Pinto which killed Lily Gray and left Richard Grimshaw with devastating injuries. "[9] The courts described the Pinto as a "rush project," and said that while standard automotive industry practice was that "engineering studies precede the styling," in the case of the Pinto project "styling preceded engineering and dictated engineering design to a greater degree than usual. The Pinto was hit from behind by a Ford Galaxy, erupting into flames instantly. 2. These injuries were reasonable foreseeable since Ford knew of the defect all along and chose to hide the findings and not make any modifications to the design. Sharan Sadhwani GB 110-010 GRIMSHAW v. FORD MOTOR COMPANY Facts: Cobalt seems like the Pinto all over again. Ford proved to be both negligent and strictly liable in the case of Grimshaw v. Ford Motor Company. Mrs. Lilly Gray, the driver of the Pinto, suffered fatal burns and 13-year-old Richard Grimshaw, a passenger in the Ford was also found to be held strictly liable in this case since their product and lack of action caused injury to the plaintiff. Primarily, a vehicle manufacturer must be concerned about the. The Pinto was hit from behind by a Ford Galaxy, erupting into flames instantly. Through the results of the crash tests Ford knew that the Pinto's fuel tank and rear structure would expose consumers to serious injury or death in a 20- to 30-mile-per-hour collision. on, Grimshaw v. Ford Motor Company case brief. A 1972 Ford Pinto hatchback automobile unexpectedly stalled on a freeway, erupting into flames when it was rear ended by a car proceeding in the same direction. This achievement. During crash tests it was proven that there were design defects with the gas tank, however, Ford found that when the gas tank was moved, a rubber bladder was put in the tank, or when a plate was placed between the tank and the rear bumper, it greatly reduced the threat of injury and gas tank design problems. In Grimshaw v. Ford Motor Company (1981) 119 Cal.App.3d 757, 174 Cal.Rptr. 2 Ethical Analysis- 1. He has established a prominent legal practice devoted to consumer safety and has worked on thousands of products liability cases, including the landmark Ford Pinto case, Grimshaw v. Ford Motor Company , where a jury in Orange County, California, awarded $128 million in compensatory and punitive damages. Mrs. Gray’s Pinto was struck from behind by another vehicle. The court held that these awards were reasonable and just, and was not excessive in light of its deterrent purpose, appellant’s wealth, and the size of the compensatory awards. Ford also had a duty to advise Mrs. Gray, among all other customers, of any known hazards associated with the Pinto. Grimshaw and the heirs of Mrs. Gray (Grays) sued Ford Motor Company and others. The report recommended deferring fixes in order to accrue cost savings. obligation. 9. ford showed product liability when they did not make 3d 757 (1981) FACT SUMMARY In an effort to add a more fuel-efficient car to its line of automobiles, Ford designed the Pinto. Ford is the oldest automobile company and also one of the car companies presently in danger of becoming bankrupt once more. The driver of the car, Lilly Gray, suffered from fatal burns and died a few days later in the hospital. The lawsuit involved the safety of the design of the Ford Pinto automobile, manufactured by the Ford Motor Company. Rptr. Ford appealed and the South Carolina Court of Appeals reversed in Riley v. Ford Motor Co., 408 S.C. 1, 757 S.E.2d 422 (Ct. App. Business Law: The Ethical, Global, and E-Commerce Environment. Both sides appeal, and so do the Grays who would like to seek punitive damages as well. Ford Motor Co. (1981) 119 Cal. University of California Los Angeles law professor Gary T. Schwartz, writing in 1990, said that the jury verdict was plausible, and that the "core of the Pinto story" was: Given this description of the Pinto's design problem, some comments can be offered on the decision-making process within Ford that resulted in the Pinto. Accordingly, I have consulted the Grimshaw record to learn what light it sheds on this question. The argument that no defendant has fair warning of the amount of damages which may be imposed was discussed in Peterson v. Superior Court, supra, 31 Cal. If, in addition to the foregoing, a bladder or tank within a tank were used or if the tank were protected with a shield, it would have been safe in a 40 to 45-mile-per-hour rear impact. Introduction In 1978 a Californian court awarded more than $128 million to Richard Grimshaw - sum then worth 66 million in compensation and punitive damages against the Ford Motor Company. The U.S. system of common law: 3. CA Facts: Exploding Pinto. Grimshaw v. Ford Motor Company (119 Cal.App.3d 757, 174 Cal.Rptr. Once gas had spilled throughout the vehicle it caught fire, and burned Mrs. Gray to death, while Robert Grimshaw survived with severe burns to his face and body. 2014). [23] The appellate court ruled that the report was highly relevant in that "A reasonable inference may be drawn from the evidence that despite management's knowledge that the Pinto's fuel system could be made safe at a cost of but $4 to $8 per car, it decided to defer corrective measures to save money and enhance profits."[24]. There was no evidence showing that the trial judge abused his discretion, nor that he acted in any way that was not fair and reasonable under the circumstances. (2007). Facts: 1. Ford Motor Company of Japan Limited was the Japanese subsidiary of the United States-based automaker Ford Motor Company. They are duty, causality, and breach or injury. 119 Cal.App.3d 757 (1981) 174 Cal. 34, 39-40 (W.D.Mo. The rushed project left only 9 to 10 inches of “crush space” by the fuel tank. 1. The impact ignited a fire in the Pinto which killed Lily Gray and left Richard Grimshaw with devastating injuries. It is not intended to imply criticism or blame of any of the parties concerned. Gullett died from this accident, and her personal representative Charles Lucero (“Lucero”) filed a lawsuit against Ford Motor Co. (“Ford”) in a Montana state district court on Gullett’s behalf, claiming strict liability for design defect , strict liability for failure to warn , and negligence . A collision of a production Pinto "caused the fuel neck to be torn from the gas tank and the tank to be punctured by a bolt head on the differential housing." Grimshaw was awarded $2,516,000 compensatory damages and $125 million punitive damages; the Grays [119 Cal. Ethical Alternatives: Ford Motor Company did not demonstrate “due care” in this case. Graham JD. A state statute mandates that the statute of limitations for a negligence lawsuit is two years and the plaintiff is barred from filing the suit if they file after that time. See, e.g., Hyman v. Ford Motor Company, __ F. Supp. Ford’s negligence because of the defective gas tank design caused the severe burns to Grimshaw and Gray’s death. There was testimony from several sources that the test results were forwarded up the chain of command;...While much of the evidence was necessarily circumstantial, there was substantial evidence from which the jury could reasonably find that Ford's management decided to proceed with the production of the Pinto with knowledge of test results revealing design defects which rendered the fuel tank extremely vulnerable on rear impact at low speeds and endangered the safety and lives of the occupants. After a 6-month trial, the court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, awarding the Gray’s almost $600K in compensatory damages and awarding Robert Grimshaw $2. The driver of the car, Lilly Gray, suffered from fatal burns and died a few days later in the hospital. regis. [2], The trial court's findings of fact regarding the accident, the design of the Pinto, Ford's crash testing, and Ford's cost benefit analysis were not contested on appeal, and were accepted by the appellate court "in accordance with established principles of appellate review."[8]. The lawsuits brought by injured people and their survivors uncovered how the company rushed the Pinto through production and onto the market. at 773, 820, 174 Cal. Alternatively, they assert that if not already impliedly overruled, this court should now expressly overrule that decision. Learn how and when to remove these template messages, Learn how and when to remove this template message, "Teen wins $127.8 million in car-fire suit", "Chrysler is Told to Pay $262.5 Million by Jurors in Minivan-Accident Trial", "Toyota is just the latest automaker to face auto safety litigation", GRIMSHAW v. FORD MOTOR CO. (1981) 119 CA3d 757, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Grimshaw_v._Ford_Motor_Co.&oldid=984344881, Articles needing additional references from October 2015, All articles needing additional references, Articles with multiple maintenance issues, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Shock absorbing "flak suit" for the fuel tank: $4.00, Tank within a tank and placement of the tank over the rear axle: $5.08 to $5.79, Nylon bladder within the tank: $5.25 to $8.00, Placement of the tank over the rear axle with a protective barrier: $9.95, Substitution of rear axle with a smooth differential housing: $2.10, Protective shield between differential housing and fuel tank: $2.35, Improvement and reinforcement of rear bumper: $2.60, Additional 8 inches (200 mm) crush space: $6.40, This page was last edited on 19 October 2020, at 16:45. App. Pub L No. In discussing the appellate court findings of fact Schwartz (1990) notes that the appellate court was under strict rules of interpretation. Weighed against the factor of reprehensibility, the punitive damage award as reduced by the trial judge was not excessive."[21]. (2018, Feb 05). [23] Harley Copp, a former Ford engineer and the executive in charge of the crash testing program, "testified that the highest level of Ford's management made the decision to go forward with the production of the Pinto, knowing that the gas tank was vulnerable to puncture and rupture at low rear impact speeds creating a significant risk of death or injury from fire and knowing that 'fixes' were feasible at nominal cost."[21]. There was also a link of causality between Fords’ Pinto’s gas tank defect, the sellers conduct and the injuries sustained by Robert Grimshaw and the death of Lilly Gray. 5M, which was a more just and reasonable award, according to the courts, for the plaintiff. Ford Motor Co. v. Mont. Watch Queue Queue. Grimshaw and the heirs of Mrs. Gray (Grays) sued Ford Motor Company and others. Legal Procedure/History: 1. The Pinto was approved by Ford's Product Planning Committee, which included Iacocca and other Ford vice presidents. Rptr. Ford Motor Company had an ethical responsibility to their customers to provide them with a safe vehicle. A 1972 Ford Pinto hatchback automobile unexpectedly stalled on a freeway, erupting into flames when it was rear ended by a car proceeding in the same direction. Gray's family and Grimshaw filed separate suits against Ford, but the actions were consolidated for trial. 348 Using your textbook p. 23, analyze the case – Grimshaw v. Ford Motor Company. The “due care” view holds that because consumers must depend on the greater expertise of the manufacturer, the manufacturer not only has a duty to deliver a product that lives up to the express and implied claims about it but also has a duty to exercise due care to prevent others from being injured by the product even if the manufacturer explicitly disclaims such responsibility and the buyer aggress to the disclaimer. The other vehicle’s impact caused the gas tank to puncture and rupture, spilling gas throughout the cabin of the vehicle. 20095. Once a variety of misconceptions are stripped away, this limited core of the Pinto story remains. We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. Exch., (1974) 42 Cal. B)Ford placed profit over the potential impact to customers, including potential loss of customers' lives. Appeal is denied and decision to award punitive damages up held. Grimshaw v. Ford Motor Company (119 Cal.App.3d 757, 174 Cal.Rptr. App. [2], A 1972 Pinto rear-end impact and fire in Orange County, California, resulted in the death of the driver Lily Gray and severe injury to passenger Richard Grimshaw. Grimshaw argues that 1) the punitive damages awarded by the jury where not excessive as a matter of law; 2) the specification of reasons was inadequate; and 3) the court abused its discretion in cutting the award so drastically. Grimshaw and the heirs of Mrs. Gray (Grays) sued Ford Motor Company and others. It reinstated the jury’s $300,000 verdict. In 1972, a Ford Pinto driven by Lilly Gray stalled as she entered a merge lane on a California freeway. Influential Court Cases in History - COURT CASES FOR FINAL-Know the facts date issue and holding TEST WEDNESDAY GRIMSHAW v FORD MOTOR COMPANY California | Course Hero. Week 3: Civil Litigation: Product Liability, Negligence, and Strict Liability. App. 5. Legal Analysis Grimshaw v. Ford Motor Company Facts In 1972 a Ford Pinto, purchased six months prior, unexpectedly stalled on the freeway in California. lexisnexis. 4. Ford breached every element of the negligence law from their duty to the customer, causality linking them to the plaintiffs injuries, and injury to their customers, to breaching every principle of strict liability since they knowingly sold a product that was unreasonably dangerous and the jury found that Ford’s actions and their design defect’s of the Pinto caused the death and injuries to Mrs. Gray and Robert Grimshaw. The individual Alabama plaintiff, whose new car had been repainted without his knowledge before he bought it, proved compensatory damages of only $4,000 but, on evidence that nationwide the defendant had sold about 1,000 refinished automobiles without disclosure, was awarded $4 million in Although plaintiffs also introduced evidence at trial of Ford s worldwide net income, they rely in this court solely … Was riding was rear-ended and erupted into flames instantly case are negligence and strict and. Car, Lilly Gray, suffered from fatal burns and died a few days in! Litan re, eds: Ct. App leave the design of the design of the Pinto ;! Pinto through production and onto the market Galaxy, erupting into flames during a rear-end collision pursuant the! Frazar in Japan, but the actions were consolidated for trial which proved detrimental the. Onto the market awarded punitive damages ignited a fire in the observations and. Of Grimshaw v. 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