Supreme Court Rejects Suit Alleging Ford Vehicles Caused Man's Cancer

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 10 declined to grant a petition for a writ of certiorari to a man who claims that his cancer was caused by defects in automobile windshields (Ted A. McCracken v. Ford Motor Co., No. 10-7327, U.S. Sup.; 2011 U.S. LEXIS 228).

Ted A. McCracken sued Ford Motor Co. and several Ford dealerships in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, alleging that he suffers from thyroid cancer because when automobiles travel at speeds in excess of 65 mph, "ambient radiation" in the air increases to dangerous levels inside the vehicle cabin. 

McCracken contends that the windshields installed in Ford vehicles provide insufficient protection from the radiation.  He brought claims of strict products liability and defective design.

McCracken filed numerous lawsuits against other automobile manufacturers, nuclear power plants and energy companies, raising the same general theory.

On July 28, 2009, Judge Anita B. Brody granted summary judgment to Ford, holding that McCracken was required to support his strict products liability and defective design claims with expert testimony.  He appealed to the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which upheld the trial court decision on Aug. 3, 2010.

McCracken filed a petition for a writ of certiorari and motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis with the U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 1.  

The high court denied the petition without comment.

[Editor's Note:  Full coverage will be in the Jan. 31 issue of Mealey's Litigation Report: Personal Injury.  In the meantime, the Supreme Court orders list is available at or by calling the Customer Support Department at 1-800-833-9844.  Document #77-110131-002Z.  For all of your legal news needs, please visit] 

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