Ford sued over Town Car garage fire

By Kelly Holleran | Dec 7, 2009

A man has filed suit against Ford Motor Company, alleging a 1997 Lincoln Town Car he owned caught on fire, causing more than $100,000 worth of damages to his garage.

Danny Dawson claims the car, which belonged to his recently deceased father, was parked in Dawson's garage on Dec. 4, 2007, when a fire occurred that appeared to be concentrated in the car.

Emergency responders were called to the scene of the fire, but to no avail as the fire had already destroyed the garage, personal property in the garage and a building adjacent to the garage, according to the complaint filed Nov. 30 in Madison County Circuit Court.

"The Plaintiff's personal property stored in the garage had a value of at least $80,000," the suit states. "The Plaintiff's damage to his garage is valued at least $28,000. The Plaintiff's other property damage is valued at least $15,000. The Plaintiff's damage to the car is valued at least $12,000. The Plaintiff was forced to pay for clean up of the damages to his property totaling at least $6,000."

Dawson became the car's owner after his father passed away on Dec. 27, the complaint says.

Dawson blames Ford for the damages he incurred after the fire because he claims the company negligently designed a car that was not safe due to the high flammability of its interior and because the car was manufactured with a speed control deactivation switch that could cause a fire under the hood regardless of whether or not the key was in the ignition.

In addition to the money he says he is owed, Dawson is seeking economic damages, pre-judgment interest and costs.

He will be represented by Todd W. Sivia and by Luke A. Behme of Sivia Business and Legal Services in Edwardsville.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-1305.

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