In re Ford Motor Company

In an opinion in December 2006, the San Antonio Court of Appeals ordered that all of the plaintiffs in a wrongful death claim, including the estate of the decedent, will have to litigate their claims against Ford Motor Company and Ford dealer Gillespie Ford in arbitration before the American Arbitration Association.  The court of appeals held that by trying to sue Ford and Gillespie Ford for alleged breaches of warranty in connection with a rollover accident involving a 2000 Ford Explorer the plaintiffs were bound to follow the other terms of the sales contract for the vehicle, which included a mandatory arbitration clause.  The trial court initially ordered the claims by the estate to arbitration but refused to order the remaining plaintiffs to arbitrate.  The court of appeals issued a conditional writ of mandamus directing the trial court to order all the claims to arbitration.  Ford and Gillespie Ford were represented in the court of appeals by PHMY attorney David Montpas.