An appeals court on Wednesday upheld a product liability verdict against Ford Motor Co. for $8 million in compensatory damages and $42,050 in punitives, despite the plaintiff’s contention that the award was lopsided because Ford’s lawyer was allowed to tell jurors about the carmaker’s financial straits and layoffs.

The appeals panel in Zakrocki v. Ford Motor Co., A-5769-06/5799-06, did not discuss whether the defense attorney was wrong to mention the potential impact of punitives on Ford employees but it upheld the trial judge’s decision to limit evidence about Ford’s finances.

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