Driver whose vehicle flipped when axle broke files product liability claim against Ford Motor Co.

By Jon Campisi | Jul 19, 2012

A suburban Philadelphia man who claims he sustained numerous bodily injuries after his

A suburban Philadelphia man who claims he sustained numerous bodily injuries after his

mini van flipped on a local highway has filed a product liability complaint against the vehicle’s manufacturer.

Charles Jay Schleifer, a lawyer with the Philadelphia firm Weinstein, Schleifer & Kupersmith, filed the civil action July 17 at the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas on behalf of Trappe, Pa. resident Glenn Adams, and his wife, Tammy.

The defendants named in the lawsuit are Michigan-based Ford Motor Company and the Keyser and Miller Ford dealership in Collegeville, Pa.

According to the complaint, Glenn Adams was driving his 2000 Ford Windstar along Interstate 76 in Upper Merion Township, Pa. back on July 19, 2010, at about 12:30 in the afternoon, when, after hearing a “popping” sound, the plaintiff lost control of his vehicle, which subsequently swerved, struck an embankment and flipped over.

Adams managed to release his seatbelt, crawl out of the front driver’s side window and exit the vehicle, the suit claims.

Once he was outside of the vehicle, Adams noticed that the rear suspension axle was broken in half, and the rear wheels were lying flat on the ground, according to the complaint.

“The subject vehicle in fact went out of control due to a fracture of the rear suspension axle, and defects in the subframe assembly,” the lawsuit states.

As a result of the incident, the suit claims, Adams suffered a host of bodily injuries, including, but not limited to, scalp lacerations, rib fractures, cervical and thoracic strain, lumbar strain, disc herniations, severe headaches, hissing sounds in his ear and associated mental pain and anguish.

Adams was forced to expend about $5,000 in medical bills relating to the treatment of his injuries, the lawsuit states.

The complaint alleges that the defendants had received multiple consumer complaints of similar incidents involving 1997 through 2003 Ford Windstars, and that in May 2010, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration launched an investigation into broken rear axles on the same mini vans.

Ford issued recall notices for the subject vehicles in October 2010, notifying all owners that repairs should be made on the vehicles’ rear axle and subframe, the lawsuit states.

The suit claims that the plaintiffs in this case didn’t receive such a recall notice until after the July 19, 2010, accident.

The lawsuit contains counts of strict liability, negligence, breach of warranty and violations of Pennsylvania’s Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law.

For each of the counts listed in the lawsuit, the plaintiffs demand compensatory damages in excess of $50,000, in addition to unspecified punitive damages, costs, treble damages, attorney’s fees and other court relief.

The suit also contains a loss of consortium count on the part of Adams’ wife.

A jury trial has been demanded.


The case ID number is 120702207.

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