November 8, 2007, - 2:44 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
This story reminds me of those who repeatedly sue gun manufacturers when someone murders one of their relatives with a gun. Almost always–no, always–the gunmaker had nothing to do with it, but because it has “deep pockets” must settle with the plaintiffs and those who buy guns to protect their families pay the price in higher gun prices.
In this case, though, it’s not the gun industry, but the dying-on-the-vine American auto industry. More than 10 years ago, a Detroit Red Wing hockey player, Vladimir Konstantinov, and team masseur, Sergei Mnatsakanov, were in a limo when it crashed into a tree. The chauffeur’s license was suspended because of a previous drunk driving conviction. They were seriously injured. And I feel bad for them.
But they have been repeatedly suing Ford Motor Company and Ford dealerships–who’ve already paid them many thousands–for the accident. Um, sorry, but Ford and its dealerships have nothing to do with a drunk limo driver. Ford had no idea when it sold a limo to a limo company that it would someday be an unlicensed, negligent driver and that he would hit and injure two people. To hold them responsible is absurd.
But both Konstantinov and Mnatsakanov are still suing Ford and Findlay Ford Lincoln Mercury of Findlay, Ohio, where the vehicle was purchased. Ford already paid Konstantinov $163,000 and Mnatsakanov $64,614 in a settlement, according to a report.
And you wonder why car prices keep rising and Ford is on life support. Baseless lawsuits like this don’t help.
Tags: car prices, chauffeur, Debbie Schlussel, Detroit Red Wing hockey player, Detroit Red Wings, Findlay Ford Lincoln Mercury, Findlay Ford Lincoln Mercury of Findlay, Ford Motor Company, Ohio, Sergei Mnatsakanov, team masseur, USD, Vladimir Konstantinov