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Alleged defective glass in ________ Ford Expedition - Arm ejected from vehicle in roll-over collision - Severe abrasion injuries with scarring - Two finger fractures.

Orange County, Florida

The plaintiff was a belted front seat passenger in a ________ Expedition manufactured by the defendant Ford Motor Company. The vehicle was involved in a collision with two other vehicles which caused it to roll onto the passenger side. The plaintiff alleged that the Expedition was defective in that it was designed with tempered glass in the side windows. The plaintiff claimed that the passenger window shattered and allowed the plaintiff’s arm to be ejected from the vehicle. The defendant argued that the use of tempered glass in the side windows was a common and safe design.

The plaintiff’s automotive design expert testified that the use of tempered glass was inappropriate and the side windows should have been designed with laminated glass which would not have shattered. The plaintiff’s expert testified that laminated glass would have simply fractured and remained in the frame preventing the plaintiff’s arm ejection.

The plaintiff contended her right arm and elbow went through the shattered right front passenger window causing severe abrasion, permanent scarring and two finger fractures.

The defendant’s automotive glass design expert testified that there were valid reasons for use of tempered glass in the side windows, including allowance for escape from the vehicle and superior strength with repeated up and down motion. The defendant further argued that the rear back window of the Expedition was open and that there was a question regarding from which window the plaintiff’s arm was actually ejected. The defense maintained that tempered glass has been used by every major automobile manufacturer for side windows since the 1970s and is a safe design.

The defendant received a directed verdict on the plaintiff’s claim for punitive damages at the close of evidence. The jury found for the defendant. The case is currently on appeal.

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