American Consumers Celebrate the Victorious Outcome of Two Ford Product Liability Cases
The US Supreme Court has issued a decision in a product liability claim against Ford Motor Company, marking a major victory for American consumers. The decision upheld state courts’ power to exercise personal jurisdiction over car manufacturers in product liability suits relating to in-state accident claims made by state residents.
The case is a consolidation of two product liability lawsuits – Ford Motor Company v. Montana Eighth Judicial District Court and Ford Motor Company v. Bandemer. In these cases, Ford was sued for injuries in Montana and Minnesota, respectively, that involved Ford vehicles purchased on the used-vehicle market. Ford moved to dismiss each case due to lack of personal jurisdiction.
Ford asserted that the states lacked the personal jurisdiction necessary to handle the cases, as the vehicles involved were not designed, manufactured, or sold in the states where the accidents took place. The company argued that their conduct in Minnesota and Montana did not give rise to the accidents in question as they did not manufacture, design, or sell the product there.
The Final Verdict
The Supreme Court affirmed the lower courts. Ultimately, the Supreme Court stated that when a company has a market in a given state, and the product causes an injury in that state and to a resident of that state, the state courts have the authority to entertain the resulting suit.
So, while the cars themselves may not have any involvement with the state, Ford does. Ford still advertises, services, and markets other cars in the states. As such, they are susceptible to a state court’s ruling on lawsuits involving state residents and accidents. This decision aligns with precedents set by similar previous cases.