California jury orders Ford to pay $18.3 million to man injured by defective van seat.

San Francisco, CA(–Ford Motor Company ordered to pay $18.3 million to a male passenger permanently injured in a Ford van rollover accident as reported by the Contra Costa Times, a Bay area news group. The U.S. District Court jury returned the verdict finding the big automaker responsible for a defective seat latching mechanism in the van which caused the passenger to suffer a catastrophic spinal cord injury leaving him a quadriplegic.

According to California product liability lawyers, representing 38 year-old Dax Pierson, a former Oakland area musician, a product defect in the van’s seat latching mechanism allowed the seat to become dislodged from the motor vehicle’s floor during the rollover accident. Pierson was traveling in the van on February 24, 2005, with his band when the Ford motor vehicle veered off an icy Iowa highway and rolled over. The van’s seat separated and Pierson’s head was crushed by the roof in the rollover.

Federal court documents reveal the jury verdict came after three weeks of grueling litigation between product liability lawyers and Ford defense attorneys. The judgment includes $12.3 million compensation for past and future medical expenses and lost earnings plus $6 million in damages for pain and suffering. Pierson requires care for life since he lost use of his legs and most of his arms leaving him unable to perform or play instruments. The jury ruled Ford was 100 percent responsible for Pierson’s catastrophic, life altering, and permanent injuries. news for California product liability attorneys.