Sport Trac roll-over leads to suit against Ford

Steve Gonzalez Dec. 20, 2005, 5:02am

A St. Clair County man who claims he was left paraplegic after a roll-over accident in his 2002 Ford Explorer Sport Trac is suing Ford Motor Co. for at least $400,000.

Jeffrey Rush claims he swerved to avoid an object in the road while driving south on U.S. Highway 77 in Milford, Kan. on Oct. 5, 2004, when the accident occurred.

The St. Clair County suit filed Dec. 9 claims Ford and co-defendant TRW Inc. were negligent for the vehicle's defective design.

According to Rush, the vehicle's track was not sufficiently wide in light of its high center of gravity. He also claims the Explorer was not equipped with anti-roll stability control, side curtains or safety canopies.

The suit also alleges the vehicle was equipped with a tire size that caused it to be unstable and its roof was not sufficiently strong to withstand the forces caused by a rollover.

"As a result of the defective and unreasonably dangerous condition, Rush suddenly turned the vehicle to avoid an object in the road and vehicle rolled over causing Rush to be tossed to and fro and up against the driver's hard surfaces," the complaint states.

Rush claims that the seatbelts, manufactured by co-defendant TRW, were defectively designed because they failed to incorporate pre-tensioning devices that would enable the seatbelts to adequately restrain occupants during a rollover.

He also claims injuries to his neck, limbs and torso, and he has suffered great pain and mental anguish, became liable for large medical expenses and lost wages.

Amy Rush claims Jeffrey's injuries have caused her to suffer a loss of consortium, including a loss of services, support and conjugal relations.

She is represented by Bruce Cook of Belleville.

05 L 716(20th Circuit)

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