LEXSEE 242 SW3D 32
FORD MOTOR COMPANY, PETITIONER, v. TIBURCIO LEDESMA, JR.,
SUPREME COURT OF TEXAS
242 S.W.3d 32; 2007 Tex. LEXIS 1130; 51 Tex. Sup. J. 250; CCH Prod. Liab. Rep.
February 14, 2007, Argued
December 21, 2007, Opinion Delivered
Released for Publication
February 1, 2008.
ON PETITION FOR REVIEW FROM THE COURT
OF APPEALS FOR THE THIRD DISTRICT OF
Ford Motor Co. v. Ledesma, 173 S.W.3d 78, 2005 Tex.
App. LEXIS 3377 (Tex. App. Austin, 2005)
For Ford Motor Company, PETITIONER:
Mr. Craig A. Morgan, Attorney at Law, Austin, TX.; Mr.
Michael W. Eady, Mr. William Leonard Mennucci,
For Tiburcio Ledesma, Jr., RESPONDENT: Mr.
Kenneth Oden Jr., Austin, TX.; Mr. Brian Johnson
Roark, Minton Burton Foster & Collins, Austin, TX.;
Ms. Amanda Eileen Staine Peterson, Mr. Andy Taylor,
For State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company,
INTERVENORS: Mr. Stephen E Garner, Stephen E.
Garner, P.C., Houston, TX.
JUSTICE WILLETT delivered the opinion of
Don R. Willett
In this products liability case, Ford Motor
Co. argues that the trial court reversibly erred in charging
the jury by giving an incomplete definition of
"manufacturing defect." We agree. Additionally, we hold
"producingcause" should no longer be used. We remand
the case for a new trial under a jury charge that reflects
our applicable caselaw, including our decision today.
In March 1999, Tiburicio Ledesma, Jr. purchased a
new Ford F-350 Super Duty pickup truck for his
construction business. The truck had four rear tires, two
on each side, surrounded by fiberglass fenders extending
beyond the sides of the truck.
[**2] June 5, 1999, Ledesma turned onto a two-
lane street in Austin and began to accelerate. He testified
that after shifting gears the truck suddenly began to
lurch, and he lost control, striking two parked cars, a
Firebird and a Civic, on the side of the street. The truck
then hit the street curb and came to rest. At the time of
the accident, the truck's odometer read about 4,100 miles.
Power from the truck engine is conveyed to the rear
axle by the drive shaft, which connects the transmission
in the front of the truck with the differential/rear axle
assembly in the rear. As seen in the trial exhibit
reproduced below, the rear-axle housing is attached to
two sets of rear leaf springs by u-bolts, which wrap
around the axle housing and are bolted to a rear spring