GALLAGHER & KENNEDY LEADS EFFORT TO PROMPT FORD MOTOR CO.
TO RECALL FORD ESCAPE
Gallagher & Kennedy Attorney Bob Boatman’s investigation of fatal crash leads to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) government investigation of Ford Escape Sport Utility Vehicle
PHOENIX (July 19, 2012) – Gallagher & Kennedy, P.A., a full-service law firm, has announced that its six month investigation into Ford Motor Company’s possible role in the fatal crash of a Payson, Arizona teenager has prompted the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) to open a government investigation of Ford Escape and Mazda Tribute vehicles. G&K Product Liability attorneys Bob Boatman and Shannon Clark were retained by the Bloom family following the death of their 17-year-old daughter, Saige Bloom, in a 2002 Ford Escape last January. Mr. Boatman’s findings have shown that the crash was caused by a faulty cruise control cable, resulting in a “stuck accelerator.”
Mr. Boatman’s extensive investigation has revealed that Ford was aware of the defect for at least five years, having been provided a video of the defect in a 2007 wrongful death case. His hope is that the investigation will lead to a recall so that no other families will experience the horror and grief suffered by the Bloom family.
“We are gratified that NHTSA has opened an investigation into Ford Motor Company,” said Mr. Boatman. “Opening a government investigation is the first and most important step in initiating a vehicle recall.”
According to NHTSA, nearly 730,000 model year 2001-2004 Ford Escapes and Mazda Tributes with 3.0-liter, V6 engines may be at risk for a similar safety defect. In addition to the Bloom fatality, NHTSA has reported 99 complaints alleging stuck throttles, including 13 crashes and nine injuries. Gallagher & Kennedy’s investigation has revealed many more deaths and injuries that were not reported to NHTSA.
Most recently, another Ford Escape owner and Houston resident Tammy Graham retained Mr. Boatman following a June 2012 incident in which she and her two children passengers narrowly escaped death as a result of a “stuck accelerator” in her vehicle.
Ford Escape owners who have experienced a “stuck accelerator” incident are encouraged to contact NHTSA at http://www.nhtsa.gov/Contact/ or Gallagher & Kennedy attorney Bob Boatman, who is finalizing the investigation and research prior to filing civil litigation against the Ford Motor Company on behalf of the Bloom and Graham families. Additionally, owners of the affected Ford and Mazda models are reminded to shift their cars into neutral should they encounter a stuck throttle emergency.
Mr. Boatman’s 28 year practice in the area of litigation is focused on personal injury and product liability matters. The Gallagher & Kennedy plaintiffs’ group, consisting of Patrick J. McGroder III, Bob Boatman, Jeff Pyburn, Mark O’Connor, Shannon Clark, Matt MacLeod and Lincoln Combs, has obtained verdicts and settlements exceeding $700 million. Mr. Boatman has had more than 30 verdicts or settlements exceeding $1,000,000.