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Stahlecker v. Ford Motor Company

Nebraska Supreme Court
667 N.W.2d 244 (2003)


Facts

During the early morning of April 29, 2000, Amy Stahlecker was driving a 1997 Ford Explorer equipped with Firestone Wilderness AT radial tires in a remote area when one of the tires failed, leaving Amy stranded. Richard Cook (defendant) encountered Amy alone and assaulted and murdered her. Susan and Dale Stahlecker (plaintiffs), parents and special administrators of Amy’s estate filed a wrongful death suit against Cook, Ford Motor Company (defendant), and Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc. (defendant) alleging that Amy’s murder was a direct result of the tire failure. The Stahleckers alleged that Ford and Bridgestone/Firestone withheld knowledge of the defective nature of the Ford Explorer’s tires and that they had a tendency to blow out. The Stahleckers also alleged that Ford and Bridgestone/Firestone had, or should have had, knowledge regarding the likelihood of criminal acts committed against those individuals stranded due to auto failures in general. The district court sustained demurrers on behalf of Ford and Bridgestone/Firestone and dismissed the actions as to them and the Stahleckers appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Stephan, 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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