Typically, auto accident damages in the US run into millions of dollars. The manufacturer Ford now has to dig unusually deep into the company's pockets. A Georgia court has fined billions after the death of a couple in a pickup truck.
According to a media report, a US court has ordered the car manufacturer Ford Motors to pay $1.7 billion after a fatal accident. "A punitive damages ruling, hopefully to warn the people who drive around in the millions of trucks that Ford has sold," the AP news agency quoted the family lawyer for the couple who died in the 2014 crash as saying.
Ford is accused of not having strengthened the roof of the F-250 pickup truck model sufficiently to protect the occupants in a rollover accident. The plaintiffs' lawyers had presented evidence of nearly 80 similar accidents in which passengers were injured or killed as a result of the roof construction, according to the report.
In the crash now before the court, the Georgia couple were driving a 2002 F-250 Super Duty when the front right tire blew out and the vehicle overturned. Melvin and Voncile Hill were crushed inside the truck.
A Ford spokesman announced on Saturday that the company plans to appeal if convicted. The $1.7 billion judgment is considered one of the highest in Georgia history and is unusually high for a crash lawsuit involving an automaker. Typically, damages in such cases run into millions of dollars, and many cases are settled out of court. The large amounts of damages are often later reduced by judges or courts of appeal.