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On June 23, 1992, Nabil Boury was driving a 1992 Ford Explorer on the Eisenhower Expressway in Chicago when another car clipped the Explorer on the driver’s-side rear wheel well. “The Explorer immediately rolled over,” said plaintiffs’ counsel Richard F. Burke. By the time it came to rest, the Explorer had rolled three times, ejecting several occupants of the vehicle. Boury and his mother, Maysoon, sustained minor injuries. But the other passengers were not as fortunate. His sister, Reena, 14, was killed; his cousin Rannie Amiri, 23, lost vision in one eye. Another teen-ager, Suzanne Leder, 13, was also killed, while Jessica Jones, 15, was rendered quadriplegic. After the accident, the injured and the estates of the two dead teen-agers sued Ford Motor Co., charging the Explorer was prone to roll over. “The design of the vehicle is inherently unstable, due in part to the narrow track width and the high center of gravity,” Burke alleged. The plaintiffs also sued Packey Webb Ford, the car dealership that had replaced the factory tires with Michelin tires, along with Cassidy Tire Co. and Michelin Tire Corp. The tires installed — Michelin 235/75R15 all-season tires — were, said Burke, “of a size and type specifically contrary to a warning in the Ford owner’s manual.” The dealership and Cassidy should have known the tires were improper, Burke said; the plaintiffs contended that Michelin’s own warnings were inadequate. There were no defects in the Michelin tires; they were just inappropriate for the Explorer, he added. A trial was scheduled for this fall, but all four defendants have settled. Ford will pay $8 million, Packey Webb $10.5 million, Cassidy Tire $3 million and Michelin $500,000. Burke would not disclose the breakdown in payments to each plaintiff, but the largest portion will go to Jones. Plaintiffs’ attorneys: Robert A. Clifford and Richard F. Burke, Clifford Law Offices, Chicago; George Bellas, sole practitioner, Park Ridge, Ill. Defense attorneys: John Krivicich, Donahue Brown Mathewson & Smyth, Chicago; Michael Progar, Landau Omahana Tucker & Progar, Chicago; James Dupree, Aronson & Cross, Chicago; Samuel Isaacson, Piper Marbury Rudnick & Wolfe, Chicago.

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