SC high court overturns $18M award in wreck case

COLUMBIA, SC (WCSC) - COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina's highest court has overturned an $18 million verdict in a lawsuit against Ford Motor Co. in a crash that killed one woman and paralyzed another.

Chief Justice Jean Toal wrote in an opinion published Monday that a trial judge was wrong to qualify an expert who testified about cruise control problems in Ford Explorers and shouldn't have allowed testimony about other incidents.

In 2006, a Greenville County jury awarded $15 million to Sonya Watson. Watson was 17 when she was paralyzed in a 1999 crash. Her attorneys had argued that her Explorer "took off" while she was driving down the interstate.

1 of Watson's passengers, Patricia Carter, was killed in the crash on Interstate 385 in Laurens County.

The jury also had awarded $3 million to Carter's estate.

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