[Guest post by DRJ]
The Austin American-Statesman has the story of a fascinating case pending before the Texas Supreme Court in which the Ford Motor Company wants to undo a settlement in a $3M rollover case based on alleged juror misconduct:
“Right out of a Hollywood movie, the dramatic jury note arrived in the courtroom on the third day of deliberations, changing everything for Ford Motor Co. and its legal opponent, a Texas woman paralyzed in a 2002 rollover accident.
“What,” the jury asked, “is the maximum amount that can be awarded?”
Fearing the jury was about to give the Brownsville woman a much larger award, Ford quickly settled the lawsuit for $3 million — about double what the carmaker discussed paying in earlier settlement talks, company lawyers said.
So imagine Ford’s surprise upon learning that jurors had been leaning 11-1 in favor of the car company.
What’s more, the lone holdout was presiding juror Cynthia Cortez, who wrote the jury note on her own and sent it to the judge over the objection of several other jurors.”
As I read the article, the issue is how far will the Court let a litigant go to void a settlement and investigate alleged juror misconduct if the case settled based on the actions of a juror.
There’s more detail in the article so please read the whole thing.