Texas Policy Officer Sues Ford Over Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Law enforcement officers put their life on the line every day in Houston and defective vehicles can be a major issue for police officers.

Law enforcement officers put their life on the line every day in Houston and across America. Criminals are risky enough, but defective vehicles should not also put officers and average Americans in danger. A police officer from Austin, Texas has filed a lawsuit against Ford Motor Company and a local dealership because he received carbon monoxide poisoning from his patrol vehicle.

Officer Blacked Out While Driving

Sgt. Zachary LaHood was on patrol at 1:30am on March 18, 2017 when he began to feel light headed and nauseous. He briefly lost unconsciousness and nearly crashed into a bus. The Austin American Statesman reports that he pulled into a parking lot and called for help. Other officers and an ambulance arrived and he was taken to a hospital where he was diagnosed with carbon monoxide poisoning.

LaHood has filed suit against Ford, maker of the 2011 Explorer which is the primary patrol vehicle used by the Austin Police Department. Also named is a local Ford dealership and other companies that had serviced the car. The officer seek $1 million in damages for neurological injuries.

The suit alleges that “safer, alternative designs could have ‘prevented or significantly reduced’ the risk of injury without impairing the car’s ability to work.”

Vehicles Being Pulled Out of Service

APD has now sidelined much of their fleet of Explorers to have them examined. The department had installed carbon monoxide monitors and since the LaHood incident, five other officers have sought medical attention for exposure.

“We believe it is to the point that we need to make some immediate decisions,” Assistant Police Chief Troy Gay said. “We consider this to be one of our top priorities right now in our agency. We consider it to be a major problem. The safety of our officers is our No. 1 concern.”

CNN reports that similar incidences have poured in from around the country and that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has begun looking into the problem.

Terrifying Crash Caught on Dash Cam

This CBS News story shows the terrifying moment in which another police officer in a Ford Explorer passed out behind the wheel, crossed oncoming traffic and hit a tree.


Vehicle Defects Cause Injury

Why does it take one of the world’s biggest auto makers over six years to fix such a dangerous defect?

If you or a loved one have sustained injuries due to an automobile defect, our law firm is prepared to help.  At The Callahan Law Firm we have the resources and a network of experts to successfully handle defective product claims. We have the ability to put together a top notch team to investigate and pursue your auto defect claim. We represent our clients on a contingency basis, meaning we only get paid if a recovery is made – either by settlement or jury verdict.

Call today for a free case evaluation!