California Court Gives Ford Sports utility vehicle Tailgate Class the Boot
Plaintiffs from California, Nj, and Florida claimed their 2002-2005 Ford Explorers, Mercury Mountaineers, and Lincoln subsequently Aviators endured from the common design defect: the plastic appliqué just beneath the switch-glass around the rear tailgate were built with a inclination to hack and permit water to corrode the metal parts that contain the switch-gate in position. Consequently, plaintiffs asserted the switch-glass would spontaneously shatter or fall-off, producing a safety hazard and diminution in worth of the topic SUVs. Plaintiffs gone to live in approve three classes according to Ford’s alleged breach of consumer protection statutes in each one of the three states.
To substantiate their claims the cracked appliqué posed significant safety risks giving rise to some duty to reveal and diminishing the need for the vehicles, plaintiffs trusted several experts in fields for example automotive glazing, corrosion, and evaluation. Ford gone to live in exclude the experts’ testimony pursuant to Daubert v. Merrell Dow jones Pharmaceuticals, Corporation., 509 U.S. 579 (1993). Particularly, Ford contended the testimony concerned matters outdoors the scope of the expertise, was unsupported by evidence, and employed hard to rely on methodologies. Ford also moved for summary judgment around the individual plaintiffs’ claims.
A legal court agreed with Ford the experts’ testimony ought to be stricken. For instance, a legal court discovered that the glazing expert wasn’t capable of offer opinions concerning the cracking appliqué, the speed of cracking within the appliqués, or corrosion. The corrosion expert, consequently, unsuccessful to aid his opinions concerning the outcomes of the cracked appliqués along with a greater rate of corrosion with actual evidence or perhaps a reliable methodology. Likewise, the appraiser didn’t evaluate any sales prices of vehicles concentrating on the same alleged defects or use every other methodology to achieve his opinion that the need for the SUVs reduced by 15 %. In punching the appraiser’s testimony, a legal court quoted from Kumho Tire Co. v. Carmichael, 526 U.S. 137, 157 (1999): “Nothing either in Daubert or even the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure needs a District Court to confess opinion evidence linked to existing data only through the ipse dixit from the expert.”
With no testimony from the defect experts, a legal court discovered that no reasonable jury may find the cracked applique posed any safety risk so that Ford were built with a duty to reveal. Furthermore, with no valuation expert, plaintiffs couldn’t show actual damages. Thus, a legal court granted Ford’s motion for summary judgment on all plaintiffs’ individual claims. The entry of ultimate summary judgment made plaintiffs’ motion to approve the 3 classes moot.
In re Ford Tailgate Litigation (N.D. Cal. November. 25, 2015).