Torts Keyed to Dobbs
D’Amario v. Ford Motor Co.
Clifford Harris, plaintiff D’Amario’s minor son, was injured when the car in which he was riding as a passenger collided with a tree and then burst into flames. After the crash, an explosion engulfed the car in flames causing Harris to lose three limbs and suffer burns to much of his body. The car was driven by a friend of Harris who was intoxicated with a BAC of .14 percent and speeding. Harris’ mother Karen D’Amario sued Ford alleging that a defective relay switch in the automobile did not disrupt the flow of power to the fuel pump, thereby causing the fire and Harris’s injuries. Ford asserted as an affirmative defense that the injuries were proximately caused by the negligence of the driver of the car. The jury returned a verdict for Ford, finding that it was not a legal cause of the injuries to Harris. Plaintiff’s appealed, taking issue with the trial court’s allowance of Ford’s fault apportionment defense and evidence introduced in support of that defense as to the driver’s actions.
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