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Local attorney takes on Ford over vehicle fires
June 23, 2008
The big cases that plaintiff's lawyer Mark Chalos is pursuing right now are all about switches and ashes. Chalos, a partner at the local office of the national litigation firm Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, has filed suit against Ford Motor Co. on behalf of Nicole and Duanisha Mathews, who narrowly escaped from a burning Goodlettsville home one morning in June of last year. The lawsuit, filed in Davidson County Circuit Court on June 13, claims that a 2000 Ford Expedition -- parked in the home's garage with its engine off - started the fire.
A faulty switch in the cruise-control mechanism set off that fire, the complaint asserts. And it says Ford knew the switches it had installed in millions of cars were dangerous but failed to correct the problem. It lays out in extensive detail what Ford's engineers supposedly knew and when they knew it regarding the tendency of the switches, manufactured by Texas Instruments Inc., to generate heat as they corrode. In two other cases Chalos has brought against Ford, fires blamed on the switches caused fatalities.