Product liability trial against Ford underway in Jefferson County

By David Yates | Oct 19, 2010

For the next three to four weeks, 12 Jefferson County residents will soak up testimony on whether Ford Motor Co.'s 1995 Ranger pickup was built, marketed and sold with a design flaw.

Arguing his Ranger was defective and dangerous, Kenneth Holmes filed a product liability suit against Ford in October 2004.

Six years later, jury selection began in the trial of Holmes vs. Ford in Judge Milton Shuffield's 136th District Court.

Court papers show that on March 4, 2003, Holmes and former defendant Guillermo Cardona were involved in a motor vehicle collision.

In his suit, Holmes also named his insurance company, State Farm Mutual Auto, as a defendant, claiming Cardona caused the collision and State Farm refused to pay proceeds for underinsured motorists.

State Farm was non-suited by Holmes on Jan. 18, 2005.

Holmes alleges the suit's remaining defendant, Ford, contributed to the collision by designing, constructing, marketing and placing its 1995 Ranger into the stream of commerce with a design flaw.

"Holmes would show the (Ranger) he was operating at the time of the collision was defective and unreasonably dangerous ... and contributed to the injuries sustained in the collision," the suit states.

The suit does not state the specific design flaws of the 1995 Ranger.

Holmes will ask jurors to award him damages for his alleged mental anguish, medical expenses and lost wages.

His wife Helen is seeking loss of consortium damages.

They are represented in part by Provost Umphrey attorney Paul Ferguson Jr.

Ford is represented by Sugarland attorney Deborah Bullion of Gascoyne & Bullion.

Case No. D173-482

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