Re: Ford Guilty Of Failure To Warn Not To Ride While Reclined
Another delightful attempt to discredit the entire legal profession. Bravo.
A few comments:
1. No one is ever "guilty" in a civil case. Guilt is a concept germane only to criminal law. Ford was found liable, which means that the jury found that Ford's failure to warn more than likely caused the passenger's injuries.
2. This is a 5-6 paragraph article. The jury in this case likely heard hours of testimony from dozens of witnesses. I tend to trust the jury over the writers' pithy attempt to marshal public indignation.
3. The only cases that are ever reported in the media are those that are newsworthy--either given bizarre facts, well-known parties, or a surprising result. Therefore, you hear nothing about the 98%+ of cases which settle or are resolved without one of these oddities. In addition, reporters in the media generally have no clue about the ins and outs of legal procedure. Therefore, media accounts of legal proceedings are often a) skewed toward outlying cases that will likely be overturned on appeal; b) display a profound misunderstanding of the actual disposition of the case and rules of evidence; and c) are written from a sensationalistic perspective.
4. Products liability damages are often assessed with the goal of forcing the liable defendant to change its policies in order to benefit society as a whole.
5. If the judge (a neutral arbiter theoretically untouched by the 'passions' of a jury) decides the award is excessive, he or she has the power of remittitur, that is, the power to lower the jury award to a number that he or she feels is appropriate.