502 F.2d 1292 (10th Cir. 1974), 74-1126, Wylie v. Ford Motor Co.

Docket Nº:74-1126.
Citation:502 F.2d 1292
Party Name:Billie Ray WYLIE, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. FORD MOTOR COMPANY, a Delaware corporation, Defendant-Appellee.
Case Date:September 23, 1974
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

Page 1292

502 F.2d 1292 (10th Cir. 1974)

Billie Ray WYLIE, Plaintiff-Appellant,

v.

FORD MOTOR COMPANY, a Delaware corporation, Defendant-Appellee.

No. 74-1126.

United States Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit

September 23, 1974

Argued Aug. 19, 1974.

Page 1293

William L. Garrett, DeSoto, Tex., for plaintiff-appellant.

William S. Hall, Tulsa, Okl., for defendant-appellee.

Before HILL and DOYLE, Circuit Judges, and SMITH, [*] District judge.

HILL, Circuit Judge.

This appeal comes from a directed verdict in a products liability action based on diversity jurisdiction.

On July 10, 1970, appellant Billie Ray Wylie was driving a 1969 Ford Ranch Wagon, purchased and furnished by his employer; this vehicle had traveled nearly 44,000 miles at the time of the accident. Appellant testified that while traveling 65-70 miles per hour on four lane Interstate Highway No. 35 near Georgetown, Texas, he passed a car and pulled back to the right lane. When he straightened up the car, the left front end raised up, a loud bump occurred and the car pulled very hard to the left. After several attempts by appellant to control the vehicle, the car veered to the right, hit a reflector pole and proceeded off the shoulder, across an access road and down an embankment. The vehicle was seen later on the grassy embankment by several persons including Paul Bohanon, a wrecker driver, and Dennis Wilie, a Texas Highway Patrolman who investigated the accident. After the accident, appellant complained of back and other injuries resulting from the incident.

Appellant instituted suit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma. Appellant relied on a breach of implied warranty of fitness for his claim for relief from the vehicle's manufacturer, Ford Motor Company. Appellant alleged the implied warranty of fitness was breached in that the upper ball joint of the left front wheel's control arm was defective, had fallen out of its socket on the highway and had caused the car to become uncontrollable. An alternative allegation of breach of the implied warranty of fitness was that driving the vehicle off the highway shoulder in an emergency was a possible use the manufacturer appellee knew of and the car should have been manufactured so that it could have driven over the terrain in this situation without injury occurring to the plaintiff. Appellant's total claimed...

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