On Wednesday, a DeKalb County jury awarded Jessica Mundy $40 million dollars after being paralyzed when her Ford Explorer shifted out of park and ran her over.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution has the story.
Specifically, the jury awarded $30 million in punitive damages, $9 million in compensatory damages, and $1 million for her husband. The suit was against Ford Motor Company and Legacy Ford in McDonough where Mundy purchased the Explorer in 2004.
Mundy claimed that a design defect in some Ford Explorers causes the vehicles to unexpectedly go in reverse after the driver puts the vehicle in park. In particular, Mundy claims that she put her Explorer into park and got out to mail a package in McDonough. The Explorer then apparently shifted into reverse and ran over Mundy which fractured her spine and paralyzed her.
Mundy’s attorneys showed the jury three depositions of people who had similar situations in which Explorers would suddenly shift out of park. In addition, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has begun an investigation into consumer complaints that 2002 to 2005 Explorers unexpectedly come out of park. Ford maintains that it was Mundy’s operation of the vehicle that led to her injuries and not a defect in the vehicle.
Since the accident, Mundy has been unable to return to her job as an accountant for the state. However, she says that the verdict has given her some peace of mind.
Pate & Brody is an accomplished Georgia law firm with offices in Atlanta, Macon and Madison. Our lawyers are dedicated to pursuing justice for crime victims, people who have been defrauded by deceptive business practices, or injured through the fault of others. Our lawyers have been recognized on the list of Georgia’s “Super Lawyers”, and included among Georgia’s “Legal Elite” by Georgia Trend Magazine.
Page Pate is an accomplished trial lawyer with over 25 years of experience in criminal defense, civil litigation, and whistleblower representation. Page is listed in The Best Lawyers in America, Top 100 Lawyers by The National Trial Lawyers, and named to the list of Super Lawyers for the past 15 consecutive years. Page is a frequent expert legal analyst for local and national media and has served as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Georgia Law School. Read Page’s reviews on AVVO. Follow Page on Twitter @pagepate and on Linkedin.