Jury Returns Defense Verdict in Trial Targeting Truck’s Power Steering, Front Suspension


After a five-week trial, a California state court jury rejected a demand in excess of $200 million, ruling that Ford Motor Co. was not liable for an accident involving a front tire failure that caused a Ford F-250 diesel truck to drift into oncoming traffic. Claiming significant injuries, plaintiffs alleged that the F-250’s scrub radius and hydro-boost system—which regulates the flow of fluid to the power steering and brakes—made the vehicle defective and prevented the truck’s driver from avoiding the collision. The jury found that the automaker’s design of the hydro-boost system did not cause the accident, and that the driver of the pickup steered left into oncoming traffic before hitting the brakes a moment before colliding with plaintiffs’ car. Gilchrist v. Ford Motor Co., No. 11CECG04230 (Super. Ct. Cal., Cnty. of Fresno 2013).