Last week, Florida federal judge William P. Dimitrouleas agreed to certify
a class of drivers who allege that a defective exhaust system present
in Ford Motor Company vehicles exposes passengers to toxic levels of carbon
The suit was filed in June, led by plaintiff Angela Sanchez-Knutson, who
alleges that she and her daughter suffered chronic headaches as a result
of carbon monoxide poisoning from her 2013 model Ford Explorer. She brought
her vehicle in to her dealership for repairs several times, citing a sulphur
smell that she was never informed signified a gas leak. Carbon monoxide
fumes were able to travel into the cabin of her vehicle when the air conditioning
system was in use.
Sanchez-Knutson presented sufficient evidence to meet the commonality,
numerosity, adequacy, and typicality requirements, but was unsuccessful
in applying a straight arithmetic damages model in support of the required
predominancy requirement. However, an alternative damages model was used
to successfully get the class certification approved. The next stage is
to prove the case on merits in order to acquire a Rule 23(b)(2) certification,
which would allow for final injunctive relief and possible monetary damages
for those included in the class.
The class certification includes all people who purchased or leased a 2011-2015
Ford Explorer from authorized Florida Ford dealerships.
Ms. Sanchez-Knutson is represented by John J. Uustal, Michael A. Hersch,
and Jordan M. Lewis of Kelley/Uustal. The case,
Sanchez-Knutson v. Ford Motor Co. (0:14-cv-61344), is being heard at the U.S. District Court for the Southern
District of Florida.
Click here to learn more about this case.
For more information on Kelley/Uustal, an award-winning South Florida trial
attorney firm, please call today.