A jury in Alabama has awarded $151.8 million to a man that was paralyzed in a 2015 accident involving an old Ford Explorer.
Reuters reports that Travaris Smith was riding in a 1998 Explorer when the driver swerved to avoid an animal. The vehicle proceeded to roll over twice, leaving him with life-altering injuries. In determining their verdict, the jury found that the 1998 Explorer failed to meet Ford’s own safety guidelines and concluded that the automaker “acted wantonly” in designing the SUV.
The jury awarded $100 million in punitive damages and the rest in compensatory damages.
In a statement, Ford spokesperson Monique Brentley said that the automaker will appeal the verdict.
“Our sympathy goes out to Travaris Smith and his family. At the same time, we disagree with the jury’s conclusion in this case as well as with a series of rulings by the Alabama court that kept the jury from hearing critical evidence – and will appeal.”
Attorneys representing Smith say that the compensation will provide him access to home care and assistance.
“We represent a 24-year-old young man who cannot be left alone to care for himself in any way,” Beasley Allen lawyer Kendall Dunson said.
“This verdict represents justice for Tre and his family. Thanks to a courageous jury, he will now be able to access basic necessities within his home and have access to the care he needs.”