March 15, 2005

Who's To Blame I am

Who's To Blame

I am going to present a senario and you tell me who is to blame for the accident.

- Teen driver, hours after the accident still had a blood alcohol content of .02
- Teen driver, driving an SUV at a high rate of speed failed to negotiate a turn in the highway, ran off the road and lost control, rolling the vehicle several times.
- 3 Teenagers in the SUV were unbelted, thus ejected from the vehicle as it rolled. 2 died, 1 seriously injured

So who is to blame? Take a guess, I'll wait. *tapping foot* Ok, what's your answer? Well your wrong.

Ford Motor Company was judged to be 90% responsible for this accident by a jury.

The trial you ask?

- Opening day of the trail a lawyer stands up and says he is taking over the case for the driver.
- Opening day, which was Valentines Day, the local lawyer for the driver sent two dozen roses to each juror.
- One of the jurers was the girlfriend of the drivers lawyers (something that wasn't mentioned during the picking of the jury).
- Said jurer was also the Aunt of one of the plantiffs and persuaded the plaintiffs to sue Ford.
- Ford asks for a mis-trial and a new judge. (The judge knew about the girlfriend link).
- Teen Driver hands in sworn statement saying he never retained above lawyer to represent him.

Guess what, motion was denied. But they did remove the girlfriend jurer. But the town didn't know about the motions presented by Ford because someone went around and bought up all the newspapers in the town before anyone in town could read the news.

The trial went on with the plantiffs lawyers claiming that if the Explorer was equiped with laminated glass on the side windows instead of tempered glass the laminated glass would have held the victims inside the vehicle the deaths and injuries would not have occured.

Ford was found 90% responsible for the accident by the jury, gee go figure. Ford is appealing on 3 grounds, the most important in that the plantiffs didn't show burden of proof that there was a defect.

Now I worked at the Glass Division of a certain Automotive company, so I think I can speak with some authority here on glass.

Lamenated glass, windshield glass, is two sheets of glass with a thick sheet of "plastic" sandwiched in between the two sheets of glass. This is done so that upon impact the windshield will not shatter in a thousand pieces. It is also harder to break through if one is attempting to esacape the vehicle. While strong and could hold a person in the vehicle it sure won't prevent injuries. In fact it could make them worse as you are hitting a solid object that doesn't move much.

Tempered glass, side windows, is a thick sheet of glass baked at certain temps to increase the strength of the glass. Also allowing it to not shatter, one of the reason auto manufacturers went to tempered glass in the 60's. It is much easier to break through than lamenated glass, for escape purposes.

So if lamenated glass were in side windows (it is in less than 1% of all vehicles for side windows) one could have problems trying to get out of the car if one could not use doors. It may hold occupants who are unbelted into the car, but it won't prevent injuries (as the lawyer is claiming). Those teen who died, may have died anyway, or could have sustained injuries that left them paralized. They would not have walked away unscathed.

Most of the blame should be placed onto the driver, who was impared from alcohol, driving too fast and obviously didn't know how to handle a SUV. The other part of the blame should be placed on the unbelted occupants. With all the data avilable about how seatbelts will save your life, people who don't wear them are asking for whatever happens to them. With the variations that seatbelts offer today using the excuse of it hurts, it's too tight, etc doesn't play.

But the victims families see the deep pockets of Ford Motor Company and see nothing but dollar signs. They want to lay blame to anyone but their own children.

Posted by Quality Weenie at March 15, 2005 12:19 PM