Saturday, August 27, 2022
A Georgia jury awarded $24 million in compensatory and $1.7 billion in punitive damages to the sons of a couple killed when their Ford pickup truck rolled over. The roof of the truck collapsed after a tire blowout, killing the couple. The jury heard evidence of a number of prior similar incidents, but many of those cases have been resolved with confidential settlements. The jury also heard evidence of Ford's wealth. Even the plaintiffs' lawyer admits the punitive damages award is likely to be reduced, as it is approximately 70 times the compensatory damages award. Georgia has a split-recovery system, one of approximately eight, in which the state receives a portion of a punitive damages awards (in this case, 3/4).
Hannah Albarazi at Law 360 has the story, quoting Cathy Sharkey, Ben Zipursky, and me.