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PRODUCTS LIABILITY in a products liability suit brought against Ford Motor Co. for the allegedly dangerous design of a passenger compartment heating system, a California jury issued a defense verdict on May 12. Wade Stewart, a 52-year-old diabetic with no feeling in his feet, claimed that he sustained third-degree burns to his foot because the heater system in his 1998 Explorer, when set to “floor only,” was dangerously and unnecessarily hot. Ford argued that the heater was designed to warm the vehicle in a variety of circumstances, and that just as an ordinary consumer would have adjusted the heat to a comfortable level, one without sensation in his feet should have taken precautions to prevent injury. Stewart v. Ford Motor Co., No. 00AS05909 (Sacramento Co., Calif., Super. Ct.). PLAINTIFF’S ATTORNEYS: David M. Blackman, Blackman & Blackman, Sacramento, Calif.; Michael L. Gums, Law Offices of Michael L. Gums, Sacramento DEFENSE ATTORNEYS: H. Grant Law, Shook, Hardy & Bacon, San Francisco; Vickie E. Turner, Wilson, Petty, Kosmo & Turner, San Diego

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