Ford $131 million lawsuit

What price a man's life?

A 2001 car crash involving Brian Cole has been settled. A Mississippi jury ordered Ford Motor Co. to pay $131 million to the Cole family. Cole died while driving an Explorer. Cole had been a prospect for the New York Mets.

Ford had taken the stance that Cole had been driving over 80 mp/H when he went off the road. He was not wearing his safety belt. The lawyers for the Cole family said that the damages in this case were higher than other rollover-type cases because of Cole's profession. Who is to say what he would have earned?

After the jury returned its verdict of $131 million then the lawyers met and decided on a settlement. Ford declined to disclose the amount of the settlement.

Ford had severed a long-term partnership with Firestone in 2001 after blaming the tiremaker for blowouts and rollover accidents that caused Injury and death in rollovers of the Explorer sport utility vehicle. Ford spent $2.6 million to replace a total of 19.5 million Firestone tires.

There have been other settlements on wrongful death lawsuits involving the Explorer.

Most lawsuits do get settled. This does not mean that there is not a long and expensive legal process to achieve that final decision. Having adequate insurance coverage will give you the peace of mind that you will not face dire financial consequences of a long drawn-out court battle. Talk to your broker or agent.