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Jury Rules That Ford Not Liable in Death of Missouri Trooper

June 21, 2005

KANSAS CITY, MO – A jury found that Ford Motor Co. wasn't liable in the 2003 death of a Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper whose Crown Victoria was struck from behind and caught fire, according to the Associated Press.Jurors said the guilty parties were the driver whose pickup truck slammed into Michael Newton's patrol car and the driver's employer, Trade Winds Distributing Inc.They awarded $8.5 million in damages to Newton's family and a passenger in the patrol car who was severely burned.The victims' families will actually receive about $500,000 each, minus lawyer fees. A pretrial settlement capped Trade Winds' liability at near $1 million, the company said.Attorneys for Newton's family and the passenger, Michael Nolte, had argued that the design of the Crown Victoria, with the fuel tank located between the rear bumper and the rear axle, partly contributed to the explosion.

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