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Quadriplegic wins $18.3M verdict against Ford for defective seat mechanism

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An Oakland, California musician, Daniel Dell’Osso, won $18.3 million dollars in his suit against Ford motor company in federal court on May 27. The man, one of seven in his band traveling in a Ford van, suffered severe spinal cord injuries and is now permanently paralyzed after hitting his head on the roof of the van when it rolled over into a ditch on an icy highway in Iowa. None of the other band members were injured, but Dell’Osso will need care for life, as he is now a quadriplegic.

The man sued Ford for a faulty seat mechanism that caused his seat to come loose when the van tipped over, ultimately leading to him hitting his head hard enough on the roof of the van to cause the spinal cord injuries. Ford argued during the trial that the van’s driver was partially to blame for the accident, but the jury found Ford completely responsible due to the faulty seat design.

Dell’Osso worked as a composer, keyboardist and vocalist for the band, but is unable to use his arms now. Instead, he will have to rely on a special computer and computer program to aid him in composing and arranging music. He can no longer play instruments or sing.