MIAMI (Sept. 24)—The 11th Judicial Circuit Court in Miami has awarded the parents of a comatose girl $15.4 million in a rollover case involving a tire valve on a Ford Econoline van. Phoebe Jimenez, now 12, suffered severe brain damage in May 1999 when the valve on the right rear tire failed, causing the van to roll over. The total verdict of $30.7 million was reduced by 50 percent because Phoebe was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident. "Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to the Jimenez family, but this is a sad reminder that seat belts can help protect passengers only when they are worn," Ford Motor Co. said in a prepared statement, adding that no proof of defect in the tire valve was shown in court. A Ford spokeswoman didn't immediately know whether the auto maker would appeal the verdict, what brand the tire was, or whether the tire maker was ever a defendant in the case.
Jury awards $15.4 million in Ford tire valve case
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