When Emily left Charleston for Miami on August 12, 1998, she thought she was starting an exciting new chapter of her life. A recent graduate of law school, Emily had been accepted in the masters in law program at the University of Miami Law School. Unfortunately, before Emily could complete her trip, her life took a turn she could never have anticipated.

The vehicle Emily was driving was a Mazda Navajo, a vehicle that had been designed by Ford Motor Company, similar in design to a Ford Explorer. The tires on Emily’s vehicle had been manufactured by Bridgestone / Firestone.  Subsequently, there has been significant publicity about the problems with rollovers on Ford-designed vehicles using the Firestone Radial ATX tires. However, at the time, Emily had no reason to think that her vehicle was unsafe. “I had just taken my vehicle into a tire dealer I greatly respected in Charleston a few days before the trip and I had been assured that my tires were fine,” she said.

However, as Emily was traveling down Interstate 95 near Cape Canaveral, Florida, the tread on the left rear wheel of Emily’s vehicle began to unravel. As had been the case with the widely publicized problems with this tire, Emily lost control of her vehicle and it rolled over multiple times. The result of the crash left Emily with several fractured vertebrae in her cervical spine. Fortunately, she was not paralyzed as the result of the accident but she was left with a condition that required complex surgery.

Thanks to the efforts of some stellar physicians, Emily has recovered reasonably well from her injuries and is now working full time as an attorney with a law firm in Charleston. However, she continues to experience daily physical problems and knows that she will need medical treatment for the remainder of her life.

After the initial course of her medical treatment was completed, Emily contacted the Joye Law Firm about representation in regard to a possible products liability claim against Ford and Bridgestone / Firestone. After months of discovery, the firm was able to obtain a settlement on Emily’s behalf at a mediation conference in November of 2001. While the exact amount is confidential, it is believed that the settlement was one of the two largest settlements among the Firestone cases filed in South Carolina.

For her part, Emily feels that the resolution of the claim has removed a great deal of stress from her in regard to her future. “I feel like my life is back on track now but I know I will always have medical issues and bills related to this accident for the rest of my life. This settlement allows me to know that I will be able to cover any treatment costs which arise in the future.”

While it is our hope that this will never apply to an acquaintance, a family member, or you, if you are aware of someone who has been severely injured due to a possible product defect, we would urge you to contact the head of the firm’s products liability practice, Mark Joye, at 877-941-2615 or at markjoye@joyelawfirm.com.

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