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Week in Review/ TOP STORIES -- Oct. 20-25

Verdict Against Ford Allowed to Stand

October 27, 2002|From Times Staff

The California Supreme Court declined to review a $290-million punitive damage verdict against Ford Motor Co., allowing to stand what the automaker described as the largest personal injury award in U.S. history to be affirmed on appeal.

The 4-3 decision, issued without comment, left Ford clinging to hope that the U.S. Supreme Court will review the case, which involved three family members who died in 1993 when the roof of their Bronco sport utility vehicle collapsed in a rollover wreck.

Fourteen business groups and companies had filed friend-of-the-court petitions with the Supreme Court, supporting Ford's assertion that the verdict was "grossly excessive" and a threat to all California businesses. Plaintiffs' lawyer Joseph W. Carcione Jr. called it a "just decision."

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