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Rozier v. Ford Motor Co.

United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
573 F.2d 1332 (5th Cir. 1978)


Facts

William Rozier was killed when his 1969 Ford Galaxie 500 was struck from behind and his fuel tank exploded. Martha Rozier (plaintiff), William Rozier’s wife, brought suit against the manufacturer of the automobile, Ford Motor Co. (Ford) (defendant), alleging that Ford was negligent in designing the car’s fuel tank. After a trial, the jury found in favor of Ford. Ten months later, Mrs. Rozier filed a Rule 60(b)(3) motion for a new trial, alleging that Ford had failed to disclose a relevant document that was requested during discovery. The document, titled “Confidential Cost Engineering Report” (Report), compared the cost of labor and parts of two different gas tank redesigns on full-size Ford automobiles, like the one Mr. Rozier was driving on the day he was killed. Although the document was found by Ford’s counsel a week before the trial commenced, it was never produced. The trial court denied Mrs. Rozier’s request for a new trial, and she appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Simpson, 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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