Ford ordered to pay $7 million in fatal W.Va. crash involving 2014 Mustang

A West Virginia jury ruled Tuesday that Ford Motor Co. must pay $7 million to the family of a 19-year-old woman who was killed in a 2016 accident involving her Ford Mustang.

According to the suit, a pickup struck the 2014 Mustang, which subsequently caught fire, and Breanna Bumgarner was ultimately killed.

The lawsuit, filed in February 2018 in Charleston, W.Va., alleged the Mustang was “defectively designed thus creating an unreasonable propensity to ignite into flames under normal and foreseeable operating conditions.”

According to the Charleston Gazette-Mail, the jury ruled Ford was 99 percent at fault for Bumgarner’s death because the Mustang did not reasonably prevent leakage from the brake fluid reservoir during the crash. The jury reserved the remaining 1 percent of fault for the driver who struck the Mustang.

Mike Andrews, an attorney representing Bumgarner’s family, wrote in an email to Automotive News that Ford knowingly hid important safety information about the 2005-14 Mustang.

“These defects are symptoms of the larger issue: the 2005-2014 Mustang is not crashworthy and was not designed to properly protect occupants or protect against known fire hazards,” Andrews wrote.

Ford spokesperson Ian Thibodeau wrote in an email that the company was considering its options.

“While our sympathies go out to Ms. Bumgarner’s family and we respect the jury’s decision, we do not believe the verdict is supported by the evidence,” Thibodeau wrote. “We will review options for appeal.”

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