In 2001, Jesse Branhalm III was a 12-year-old in the back seat of a 1987 Ford
Bronco II. When the Bronco's driver turned around to either look at or argue with the kids in the back seat, she nearly ran off the road. After making a quick steering correction, the Ford
flipped, leaving the unbuckled Branhalm with severe brain injuries. Branhalm's parents sued Ford, saying that the way the Bronco was engineered increased its propensity to roll over. In the first trial back in 2006, a South Carolina jury agreed with the family and awarded $16 million in damages and another $15 million in punitive damages.
According to a new article in BusinessWeek
, the South Carolina Supreme Court, citing inadmissible and highly prejudicial evidence that the trial judge should have barred, has just reversed the decision. Ford gets the victory for now, but it's not over: family attorney Ronnie Crosby said, "We believe there is ample evidence to demonstrate the Bronco II is defective and unreasonably dangerous and we're eager to present that evidence to another jury."