It was on August 11th of last year when Troutman lost control of her Ford Explorer and the vehicle rolled. A tire failure allegedly caused the driver to lose control of the vehicle and it flipped, seriously injuring the driver and a passenger. According to the complaint the roof of the Explorer crushed during the rollover and the seatbelts failed to keep the driver and her passenger firmly ensconced in their seats.
Troutman was seriously hurt and died from her injuries 14 days later.
The defective car lawsuit, filed August 4th in the Texarkana Division of the Western District of Arkansas, states that the accident was the result of tread separation from a defective tire, together with the Explorer's "unreasonably dangerous nature of handling and stability."
According to the complaint, the accident occurred after the right rear tire on the vehicle, a Futura Dakota H/T manufactured by Cooper Tire, failed when the tread separated from the rest of the tire. The tire at the center of the defective car lawsuit was manufactured at the Cooper Tire facility in Texarkana and was "unreasonably dangerous and unfit for its intended purposes and foreseeable use due to its defective condition," the plaintiffs argue.
Various members of the Troutman family along with passenger Linda Pharis (who was also injured in the accident) filed individual lawsuits against Cooper Tire and Rubber Company and the Ford Motor Company.
"During the rollover, the Explorer's roof crushed, the seat belt restraints failed to keep Mona Troutman and Linda Pharis in contact with their seats, and the side window glazing broke out," the complaint states.
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The lawsuits, which will be heard by US District Court Judge Harry F. Barnes, were summarized in the Southeast Texas Record.
It should be noted that while GM and Chrysler are somewhat protected from product litigation stemming from their bankruptcy proceedings, it is believed that no such restriction against auto defect litigation applies to Ford.