More than a dozen years ago, a teenager was paralyzed in a single-vehicle crash after being thrown from the closed sunroof of her sport utility vehicle. She and her family filed Hankins v. Ford in a federal court in Mississippi, alleging her severe personal injuries were the result of a defective sunroof that was unreasonably dangerous and defendant car maker was negligent in failing to warn them of the risk.
The case dragged on for years, but ultimately ended with Ford prevailing under the argument that there is no government regulation that requires a sunroof (even one that is closed) to keep occupants inside a vehicle, particularly in the event of a rollover crash.
Fast-forward to today, and there are still no government regulations that require sunroofs to be safer, despite the fact that there are hundreds of ejections via sunroof every single year. Continue reading