One day in 1972, on the highway, Richard Greenshaw, 13, came home in a Ford Pinto car driven by a neighbor. The normal car suddenly slowed down, stopped and was rear-ended. After being hit, the fuel tank exploded and the gasoline overflowed, causing further fire and explosion of the car body. The driver died on the spot. Little Greenshaw suffered severe burns of up to 90 percent. Unfortunately, she lost her nose, left ear and most of her left hand. In the six years since the accident, Little Greenshaw has received more than 60 surgical treatments to repair damaged faces and other injuries.
The plaintiff’s lawyer sued the car company. They pointed out that the accident was caused by a design error of the car. Because the fuel tank is installed in the lower part of the rear seat of the vehicle, it is only a little more than 8 centimeters away from the clutch. Once there is a moderate intensity collision, it can cause an explosion.
The plaintiff’s lawyer filed a lawsuit against Ford Motor Company. They pointed out that the accident was caused by a design error of the car. Because the fuel tank is installed in the lower part of the rear seat of the vehicle, it is only a little more than 8 centimeters away from the clutch. Once there is a moderate intensity collision, it can cause an explosion.
The revelation of this evidence clearly angered the jury. Ford saved nearly $100 million in costs due to the decision not to install the necessary safety devices. The plaintiff’s lawyer filed a $100 million claim based on the evidence and calculation, and the jury did not believe that even giving the amount of compensation did not mean that Ford ignored consumer safety penalties. So the jury asked for $25 million to be added to the total savings, which really had the nature of a fine.