Breaking News: South Carolina Supreme Court Reverses $18 Million Dollar Verdict Against Ford

This morning, the South Carolina Supreme Court reversed an $18 million verdict against the Ford Motor Company arising from an automobile accident which killed one passenger and paralyzed the driver. At issue in this products liability case was the cruise control system of a Ford Explorer. The case is Watson v. Ford Motor Co., No. 26786 (S.C. March 15, 2010). In sum, the Supreme Court reversed and accepted Ford’s arguments that the trial court erred in qualifying two of the Plaintiff’s experts (one a cruise control expert, the other an alternative design expert) and by admitting evidence of prior sudden acceleration accidents. We’ll have more on this opinion in the coming days, but for now, you can see the opinion here and some early media coverage here. Authored by Chief Justice Jean Toal, the majority opinion drew one concurring opinion from Justice Costa M. Pleicones (who concurred in the result only).

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