A jury has ordered that Ford pay $131 million for a 2001 rollover accident that claimed the life of Mets prospect Brian Cole.

After a near-decade long court battle, Ford has reached a settlement agreement with the family of Brian Cole. Cole, a 22 year old New York Mets AA baseball prospect, was killed in 2001 when his Ford Explorer Sport was involved in a single-vehicle rollover accident.

Cole was killed in the spring of 2001 during a road trip home to Mississippi to visit his family. Cole's Explorer flipped at approximately 80mph, ejecting the young man from the vehicle. Although Cole died as a result of the accident, his passenger - a teenage cousin - walked away unscathed.

Lawyers representing Cole insist he was wearing his seatbelt at the time of the accident, but Ford vehemently denies that claim, with company spokeswoman Marcey Evans saying Cole "was not wearing his safety belt" when the rollover occurred. Evans also noted that Cole's cousin, "who was properly belted, walked away from the accident."

Despite Ford's stance, a jury recently ruled in favor of Cole's side. As a result Ford will pay Cole's family $131 million. Cole's cousin will receive $1.5 million of that claim.


1.'Ford Settles on...' view