News & Insights

Ford Wins Trial On Products Liability

Dykema Prevails with Defense Verdict in Trial of Home Fire Allegedly Caused by Vehicle

April 28, 2009

Bloomfield Hills

Dykema’s elite Automotive Industry Team won a defense verdict for Ford Motor Company in a products liability action brought by Clarendon National Insurance Company, a U.S.-based property and casualty insurance company. Clarendon alleged that a home fire was caused by a defect in a Ford vehicle.

"We are very pleased that the jury considered all of the evidence at issue in this case and determined that Ford is not responsible for these damages," said Clay Guise, member of Dykema’s Automotive Industry Team and lead counsel for Ford.

Clarendon alleged a defect in a Ford vehicle caused a fire that damaged the home of one of its insureds. Ford and Dykema countered, arguing that the fire originated in a different part of the garage and was not caused by the vehicle.

In Imperial County, California, a jury ruled in favor of Ford despite evidence that the vehicle in question was included in a previous product recall. Clarendon had sought recovery for payments of $200,000 made as a result of the incident.

Guise tried this case with Steven Smelser, a products liability attorney from Yukevich Calfo & Cavanaugh in Los Angeles.