Georgia jury awards $1.7 billion verdict against Ford in 2014 rollover crash

Three-quarters of punitive damages go to the state of Georgia, according to state law for product liability cases.

A jury on Thursday awarded Kim and Adam Hill more than $24 million for the wrongful death and pain and suffering of their parents. The jury determined that 30% of the damages were against Pep Boys for installing the wrong size tires on the truck, causing the explosion.

Butler said tests showed the wreckage was survivable and the Hills died because they were crushed by the roof of the truck.

William Withrow of Troutman Pepper, Ford’s lead attorney in the trial, did not return a message seeking comment.

The trial lasted three weeks. The case first went to trial in 2018, but ended in a mistrial.

Lawyers presented evidence of nearly 80 similar wrecks where people had been killed or injured when the roofs of trucks crushed them during rollovers. Ford has declined to say how many similar incidents it knows of and has never issued a recall, Butler said.

“These trucks have killed dozens, if not hundreds, of people,” Butler told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The punitive damages against Ford are nearly four times larger than the largest verdict in Georgia 24 years ago, when another Gwinnett jury awarded $457 million against Time Warner and its affiliates in a contract dispute involving Six Flags Over georgia

Bill Rankin contributed to this article.

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