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Pouncey v. Ford Motor Co.

United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
464 F.2d 957 (1972)


Facts

C. L. Pouncey (plaintiff) owned a car manufactured by Ford Motor Company (Ford) (defendant). A blade broke off of the car’s radiator fan and hit Pouncey in the face, causing him injury. Pouncey brought a manufacturing-defect suit against Ford on the ground of negligence. Pouncey’s expert witness testified that the steel from which the fan was made had several impurities. According to the expert witness, these impurities weakened the steel and eventually caused one of the fan blades to break. Ford’s expert witnesses testified that some of the fan’s blades were bent, which caused the fan to be off-centered and eventually break. Ford also presented evidence of its quality-control testing procedures, which were in effect at the time of the trial, for radiator fans. Ford did not present evidence of its quality-control testing procedures that were in effect at the time Pouncey’s fan was manufactured. A jury found in favor of Pouncey and awarded him $15,000. Ford appealed, arguing that Pouncey’s case theory was speculative and that Pouncey had not proven Ford had inadequate quality-control testing procedures. Therefore, Ford argued, the case should not have been submitted to the jury.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Morgan, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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