Martin Edgar, et al. v. Ford Motor Company, et al.
(February 2010)

Keith W. McDaniel, Lance B. Williams, and Quincy T. Crochet of McCranie, Sistrunk, Anzelmo, Hardy, McDaniel & Welch obtained a summary judgment for Ford Motor Company in the case of Martin Edgar, et al v. Ford Motor Company, et al., 2010 WL 481030 (S.D. Ind. 2/4/2010). The single vehicle accident at issue occurred on December 24, 2005, on Interstate 49 in central Louisiana. The six plaintiffs were the occupants of a 1993 Ford Explorer involved in a rollover after Martin Edgar lost control of the vehicle after its Firestone tire lost its tread. As a result of the accident, Mr. Edgar suffered a cervical fracture and the remaining occupants sustained various injuries.

All six occupants of the five-passenger Explorer filed suit against Ford and Firestone in the 27th Judicial District Court for the Parish of St. Landry. The case was removed to the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana and then transferred to the Bridgestone/Firestone Multi District Litigation pending in the Southern District of Indiana.

After more than two years of litigation, Ford moved for Summary Judgment and argued that the plaintiffs had not carried their burden under the Louisiana Product Liability Act for establishing a defect in the vehicle. The District Judge granted the motion, noting that plaintiffs had not participated appropriately in the discovery process and had not satisfied a previous award of costs and attorney fees in favor of Ford. The plaintiffs attempted to salvage their case by retaining experts and offering reports after the deadline to do so had long passed. The Court granted Ford’s Motion to Strike the tardy expert opinions, and held that plaintiffs had failed to provide any evidence of any defect. Accordingly, Ford’s Motion for Summary Judgment was granted.