Ford Motor Co. moves to dismiss car fire suit

By Amelia Flood | Feb 23, 2010


Ford Motor Company is asking that a Madison County property damage suit stemming from an alleged car fire be thrown out.

Ford filed its motion to dismiss the suit brought by plaintiff Danny Dawson, Feb. 2.

In the seven page motion, the auto maker cites differences in the plaintiff's event timeline, and that the fire happened more than 10 years after the car was purchased.

The company also contends that Dawson's father owned the car at the time of the fire, therefore, Dawson does not have standing to receive damages.

If the complaint is not dismissed in its entirety, Ford asks that Madison County Circuit Judge Andy Matoesian strike the plaintiff's claims for damages to the car and to the punitive damages and pre-judgment interest claims.

Dawson filed suit against the company last year, claiming that a defective speed control switch and flammable parts caused a 1997 Lincoln Town Car to burst into flames, destroying the car, the plaintiff's garage and its contents.

According to his complaint, the car was owned by Dawson's father, Clarence Williams, until his death in 2008.

It was in Dawson's garage on Dec. 4, 2007 when the garage caught fire.

The fire caused more than $100,000 in damages, according to the complaint.

Dawson's suit seeks damages of more than $100,000, pre-judgment interest, punitive damages, attorney's fees and court costs.

The case management conference is set for 9 a.m. Feb. 24.

Dawson of Granite City is represented by Todd Sivia of Edwardsville.

Ford is represented by Michael Borree of Chicago.

The case is Madison case number 09-L-1305.

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