Kent Emison and Hoyt Tessener were featured in the Tyndall v. Ford episode of the Great Trials podcast series. This case was tried on behalf of an 11-year-old boy who was paralyzed in a car crash due to an inadequate seat belt design.
Positioned in the rear center seat of his father’s 1999 Ford Escort, Che-Val Batts’ two-point lap belt jackknifed him when another car suddenly pulled out in front of the Escort, leaving Che-Val with damage to his internal organs and spinal cord, rendering him a paraplegic. The other passengers, who were restrained by three-point seat belts, sustained significantly less severe injuries. This podcast looks at how in spite of knowing the higher safety rating of three-point seatbelts and including these more effective restraints in other models, Ford continued to manufacture Escorts with a rear center seat two-point seat belt, violating the company’s own safety policies.