Tyler woman sues Ford in product liability suit

Marilyn Tennissen Apr. 3, 2008, 9:33am

MARSHALL -- A Tyler woman has filed suit against Ford Motor Co., alleging the vehicle's design did not protect her in a collision.

Yowaundez W. Williams filed a product liability suit against the auto company on March 28 in the Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas.

According to the plaintiff's original complaint, Williams was driving a 2003 Ford Focus SE on Oct. 27, 2007. She was traveling northbound on Troup Highway in Smith County when she was struck by another vehicle driven by James Styron. Styron is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit.

"At the time of the accident, Yowaundez W. Williams was properly wearing her 3-point seat belts," the complaint states. "However, despite being properly restrained, Yowaundez W. Williams sustained serious injuries when her vehicle and restraint systems failed to protect her."

The suit alleges that Williams' injuries occurred because the vehicle was not reasonably crashworthy and not reasonably fit for unintended by foreseeable accidents.

"The vehicle in question was unreasonably dangerous in the event it should be involved in an accident such as occurred herein," the complaint states.

The suit alleges the vehicle was manufactured with the following defects:

  • The vehicle fails to contain any type of door beam;
    The vehicle fails to contain any side impact bag, side bag, head bag or side curtains;
  • The vehicle fails to contain hinges that are reinforced, instead the door hinges pull free;
  • The vehicle violated principles of crashworthiness, failed to maintain survival space and failed to provide proper restraint;
  • The vehicle failed to provide proper restraint;
  • The vehicle failed to provide adequate or effective restraint;
  • The vehicle fails to provide adequate side impact protection;
  • The vehicle fails to use reinforced hinge post, hinge backing plates, or reinforced hinges;
  • The vehicle violates FMVSS214; and
  • The vehicle breached implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular use.

    Williams claims that due to the defendant's acts or omissions, she has suffered physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, emotional distress, disfigurement, impairment, interference with her daily activities, loss of consortium and reduced capacity to enjoy life.

    In addition, she has become obligated to pay reasonable and necessary medical expenses in the past and in all likelihood will into the future and has suffered a diminished earning capacity.

    Williams is seeking actual damages, interest, costs and other just and proper relief. The suit states that the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000.

    E. Todd Tracy of the Tracy Firm in Dallas is lead counsel for the plaintiff.

    The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge T. John Ward.

    Case No. 2:08-cv-138-TJW

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