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RHOADS v. FORD MOTOR CO.

April 25, 1974

Woodrow F. RHOADS, Administrator of the Estate of Mary Matthews Rhoads, Deceased, and Woodrow F. Rhoads, Individually
v.
FORD MOTOR COMPANY, a corporation v. Woodrow F. RHOADS, Individually


Sorg, District Judge.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: SORG

SORG, District Judge.

Woodrow F. Rhoads, plaintiff, sustained personal injuries and his wife, who was a passenger in the car he was driving, died as a result of injuries inflicted when the car veered off the road, struck a guard rail, and overturned. Plaintiff, in his individual capacity, alleging a dangerous defect in the steering mechanism of the automobile, brought this action as purchaser against Ford Motor Company, manufacturer, under ยง 402A of the Restatement of Torts 2d. As administrator of his wife's estate, he also brought action under the Pennsylvania Wrongful Death and Survival Statutes. Defendant Ford then joined Rhoads, individually, as Third-Party Defendant. Jurisdiction is based upon diversity of citizenship, Pennsylvania law governs, and the teachings of Pennsylvania Courts are controlling.

 The case was submitted to a jury who returned the following:

 
SPECIAL VERDICT
 
Was the accident which occurred on February 11, 1969, and which resulted in injuries to Woodrow F. Rhoads and the death of Mary Matthews Rhoads caused by a dangerously defective condition of the vehicle in which they were riding?
 
Answer Yes
 
Was such defective condition in existence when the vehicle was sold by Ford Motor Company?
 
Answer Yes
 
Was there any negligence on the part of Woodrow F. Rhoads in the manner of his operating the vehicle which was a proximate cause of the accident?
 
Answer Yes
 
What were the damages sustained by Woodrow F. Rhoads by reason of his own injuries as a result of the accident which occurred on February 11, 1969?
 
$ 8,238.75
 
What were the damages sustained by the Estate of Mary Matthews ...

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