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The Nation

December 21, 1987

A federal jury in Baltimore has ordered Ford Motor Co. to pay a family $3.3 million in what attorneys say is the first liability verdict over the rear seat belts installed in its Escort model. The jury agreed the rear lap belts were defective and were the primary reason for the injuries in a 1985 accident that killed Chris Gaboury, 13, and left Jimmy Garrett, now 13, paralyzed from the waist down. Lawyers argued that Ford was negligent in making the seat belts cross the wearer at the waist rather than the pelvis. The jury also found Ford negligent for failing to install shoulder harnesses as part of the rear seat belts. Ford plans to file post-trial motions in U.S. District Court and is considering an appeal, said spokesman Mike Moran.

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