A Florida jury today awarded $61 million to the parents of a teenage passenger killed when his friend's Ford Explorer rolled. Paul Kaster, the attorney for the parents, said the ruling debunks "the myth that the problem with the Explorer was a tire problem."  "It's not," he told Reuters. "It's a stability and handling problem."
While Ford executives maintain that the Explorer rollover problems were linked to their Firestone tires, Kaster said Ford engineers testified during the trial that they knew in 1989 that the vehicle's chassis needed to be redesigned.

The Flordia case could be the first in a series of big dominos to fall, with similar trials pending in Florida, Mississippi and California. Ford will appeal the verdict.



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