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Ford's £177m court victory

Ford in the United States has won a Supreme Court victory in its efforts to avoid paying a record £177m damages for a sport utility vehicle roll-over accident that killed three family members a decade ago.

The justices ordered a California court to consider whether the damage award was out of line. The high court also told Kentucky judges to decide whether Ford owed £11m to the family of a miner killed when a Ford pickup truck slipped into reverse and crushed him.

The amounts could be reduced under a recent Supreme Court ruling setting limits on punitive damages. The high court did not give a formula for determining what punishment was reasonable but said last month juries should not consider a company's wealth in making the decision.

That ruling is especially important for large companies such as Ford that can face multiple lawsuits over their products.

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