Couple sue Ford, allege car fire destroyed garage Insurers join lawsuit, which seeks $141,000

March 21, 1997|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,SUN STAFF

An Annapolis couple and their insurers filed suit in Anne Arundel Circuit Court yesterday seeking to recoup $141,000 spent to replace the couple's car and garage, allegedly destroyed when the family's car burst into flames in their garage.

Clark and Jina Robbins of the 100 block of Groh Lane allege that Ford Motor Co. and Koons Ford of Annapolis were negligent in making and selling them the Crown Victoria automobile that caught fire two months after they purchased it in 1995.

State Farm Fire and Casualty Co., which insured the garage, and State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., which covered the car, joined the couple as plaintiffs to recover the $141,000 paid on the claim, according to the suit.

The Robbinses are listed as plaintiffs as a legal requirement in the suit.

The car had been driven 1,400 miles before it caught fire as Clark Robbins, returning from a shopping trip, was pulling into his garage Dec. 21. Within seconds, the suit said, it "exploded into a fireball."

Robbins jumped out of the car before being burned, but the fire spread and destroyed the garage and its contents, said Isaac Waranch, the couple's lawyer, who declined to comment further yesterday.

The suit names as defendants both the Detroit-based Ford Motor Co. and Koons Ford of Annapolis Inc., which sold the $20,459 car to the couple.

Ronald L. Hendrick, a spokesman for Koons, said yesterday that Robbins called to complain about the incident once or twice and that the complaint was turned over to lawyers for Ford Motor Co. about a year ago.

A Ford spokeswoman said that the company had not received any similar complaint about the Crown Victoria model, and that company officials were unaware of the suit and could not comment on it.

Pub Date: 3/21/97

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