AUSTIN - In response to an Austin police officer's lawsuit against Ford Motor Company due to a possible carbon monoxide leak, the company has issued its first response to KVUE's and the Austin American-Statesman's Tony Plohetski.
Sergeant Zachary LaHood said he is suffering from neurological issues caused by the Ford SUV he was driving that he said leaked carbon monoxide. It's an issue that is plaguing the Austin Police Department. A total of 60 cars out of a fleet of 400 are currently off the street due to the issue.
According to Ford, Sgt. LaHood and his attorneys have failed to make a legally sound case against the company in its lawsuit. It said they did not show -- as required by law -- that Ford acted maliciously, was grossly negligent or that the company had any way of seeing potential harm. The response also said that LaHood's lawyers presented no evidence of a manufacturing defect caused by Ford.
Meanwhile, Sgt. LaHood's attorney told Plohetski that it is now possible that his client may never be able to return to the force. LaHood is suffering from vision difficulties, memory and concentration issues and strength-related issues, according to his attorney.
Ford investigators -- as well as inspectors from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration -- remain in Austin trying to figure out what is causing this issue. Ford has said they have found nothing in testing that shows the company is responsible, but points out that departments do modify the cars. Austin officials said they have not identified a source of the problem either.
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