West Virginia appeals court reverses $7M jury award in Ford lawsuit involving woman’s crash death

PHOTO CREDIT: (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

Oak Hill, WV (WOAY) –A West Virginia appeals court has reversed a $7 million award in a product liability lawsuit against Ford Motors.

On Friday, the West Virginia Intermediate Court of Appeals sent the case back to a lower court for a new trial.

In 2022, A jury found Ford 99% at fault for the 2016 death of Breanna Bumgarner.

A pickup truck crossing the center line on U.S. Route 22 near Spencer hit Bumgarner’s 2014 Ford Mustang, resulting in the vehicle catching on fire and trapping Bumgarner in the car.

The lawsuit also named the 16-year-old driver of the other vehicle and her parents as defendants.

The plaintiff’s attorneys argued that Mustang’s brake fluid reservoir wasn’t adequately protected.

The appeals court ultimately sided with Ford’s argument that negligent design claims require proof of a reasonable alternative design for establishing the existence of a defect. 



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