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D'Amario v. Ford Motor Co.

Florida Supreme Court
806 So.2d 424 (2001)


Facts

Harris (plaintiff) was riding as a passenger in a car manufactured by Ford (defendant). The driver of the car was intoxicated and driving at an excessive speed when he crashed into a tree. The car caught on fire and exploded, causing serious injuries to Harris. Harris and his mother, D’Amario (plaintiff), brought a strict liability claim against Ford, alleging that the car’s relay switch was defective because it continued to pump fuel after the collision, which caused the explosion. Harris did not seek damages for his injuries caused by the initial accident, but only for the secondary injuries caused by the explosion and defective relay switch. During trial, Ford asserted an affirmative defense of comparative fault, alleging that the jury should consider the driver’s negligence in causing the initial accident. The court allowed evidence of the driver’s intoxication and excessive speed, and the jury returned a verdict for Ford. The trial court judge granted a new trial, but the appellate court reversed, upholding the verdict in favor of Ford.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Per Curiam)

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