Florida Senate Judiciary Committee Considers Dangerous Anti-Consumer Bill

SB 142 by Garrett Richter (R-Naples)

UPDATE: Tuesday, January 11: Florida Senate Judiciary Committee passes dangerous anti-consumer legislation.

January 11, 2011-- This week, the Florida Senate Judiciary Committee will debate and vote on a bill impacting the safety of consumers throughout the state. If passed, Senate Bill 142, sponsored by Garrett Richter (R-Naples), will enable vehicle manufacturers to escape responsibility when their products cause serious injury to Floridians.

SB 142 was drafted to reverse the precedent set by D’Amario vs. Ford Motor Company, when the courts distinguished between the initial cause of a car accident and the cause of subsequent injury related to defects in the automobile. For instance, if an air-bag did not deploy during a collision, the manufacturer could not shift blame to the accident itself. The Florida Court determined a jury’s focus should be whether a defect existed and whether it caused any injuries.

To illustrate the length car manufacturers will go to in order to protect their bottom line, click the video below to view a recent ABC News Exclusive highlighting Ford’s irresponsibility and negligent production of their Windstar family van.

If SB 142 becomes law, the financial burden of caring for persons injured by defective products will be shifted onto the shoulders of Florida’s taxpayers. 

Below are just a few proven automobile defects that have seriously injured Florida’s citizens:

Ford Mustang - Fuel Fed Fires Ford Explorer -- Lack of Restraint
Ford Mustang Convertible - No Rear Head Rest

Ford Explorer -- Defective Seatback

Ford Pinto- Fuel Fed Fires Ford Escort--Defective Seatback
Ford Crown Victoria - Fuel Fed Fires Ford E350 (15-Passenger Van) – Stability & Handling
Ford Explorer – Roof Crush Ford E350 (15 Passenger Van) --Lack of Restraint
Nissan Sentra – No Rear Shoulder Seatbelt Chrysler Minivan – Defective Seatback
Jeep Cherokee – Fuel Fed Fires Chrysler Minivan – Defective Rear Lift
Aerostar Vans – Stability & Handling Toyota – Sudden Unintended Acceleration
Aerostar Vans – Defective Slider Door Baby Trend Car Seats – Defective Latch
Aerostar Vans - Defective Seatback Basic Comfort Booster Seat - Defective Seatback
Baby Trend Car Seats – Defective Latch Basic Comfort Booster Seat – Defective Seatback
Chrysler Minivan – Stability & Handling Chevy Lumina – Defective Seatback

The manufacturers of these dangerous vehicles would have you believe that their profits are constantly threatened by the D’Amario court decision resulting in product liability lawsuits. Yet according to the Florida Office of State Courts Administrator, product liability cases only made up approximately 0.2% of all lawsuits filed from 2008-2009. To review these statistics further, click HERE. For a complete analysis on the crashworthiness doctrine and on SB 142 by the Florida Justice Association, click HERE