Ford sued over defective Expedition

Ann Knef Jan. 8, 2007, 7:21am

A Belleville woman and St. Louis man are suing Ford Motor Co. in St. Clair County Circuit Court claiming the seatback of a 2003 Expedition was defectively designed.

Pam Conner and Frank Muegge suffered head, neck and back injuries after being ejected from a vehicle they were riding in when it was rear-ended on a Florida highway on Aug. 15, 2006, according to a suit filed Jan. 3.

The floor of the Expedition crumpled upward and its seatback collapsed, causing Conner and Muegge who were seated in the third row, to "ramp up" and be ejected. The suit claims Muegge was partially ejected.

Conner and Muegge were "restrained" at the time of the impact, the suit claims.

The suit also claims the third seatback did not have sufficient strength to withstand a rear impact and that the vehicle was not crashworthy in that a foreseeable rear impact would cause the floor to buckle.

Conner and Muegge claim Ford failed to warn people that the third seatback was not strong enough to withstand a rear impact and that the floor and frame of the Expedition was not sufficiently strong enough to prevent crumpling.

The plaintiffs are represented by Bruce N. Cook of Belleville and Jon E. Rosenstengel of Belleville. They are seeking in excess of $300,000 in damages, plus costs.

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