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Jury Exonerates Ford In Fiery Patrol Car Crash

In Kansas City, a jury has sided with Ford Motor Company and against a Johnson County Kansas man who was badly burned in a fiery crash on Interstate 70 in Missouri nearly nine years ago.

The wreck involved a stopped Missouri Highway Patrol car and  a truck traveling an estimated 65 mph.

Michael Nolte of Leawood had sued, asking $46 million in damages. At time of the crash he was sitting in the patrol car and suffered burns and other severe injuries. Trooper Michael Newton was killed.

The Trooper’s survivors settled with Ford Motor before the civil trial under undisclosed terms.

Nolte’s lawyers alleged Ford knew the arrangement of the Crown Victoria  state car’s fuel system was dangerous but did nothing.  Ford’s lawyers countered at trial that no vehicle could withstand such a crash with a truck.

The Jackson County jury deliberated in its fact-finding parts of two days before reaching a verdict today.

 It was the second trial of the case.

An earlier trial favored Ford Motor and the case was appealed. Later the Missouri Supreme Court ordered a retrial. That verdict was rendered today.

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