Funkhouser v. Ford Motor Co.Annotate this Case
Steven Funkhouser, administrator of the estate of Emily Funkhouser, brought this products liability action against Ford Motor Company and Obaugh Ford, Inc. (collectively "Ford") after his daughter, Emily, died from severe burns she suffered when the family's Ford Windstar minivan caught fire. The circuit court ruled that evidence of seven other Winstar van fires was inadmissible. The parties then entered into an agreed final order wherein Funkhouser stipulated that absent evidence of those fires, he would be unable to prove his failure to warn claims, and therefore, entry of summary judgment was proper. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the circuit court erred in its application of Virginia law governing admissibility of other similar occurrences and in excluding evidence of four of the other Windstar van fires; and (2) the evidence of three of the Windstar van fires was inadmissible. Remanded.