Virginia Supreme Court excludes evidence in Waynesboro family's wrongful death case - Waynesboro News Virginian: Newsvirginian

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Virginia Supreme Court excludes evidence in Waynesboro family's wrongful death case

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Posted: Friday, January 11, 2013 7:30 am

The Virginia Supreme Court on Thursday ruled in a 4-3 decision that a Waynesboro family who lost their 3-year-old daughter in a 2006 Ford Windstar van fire, could not use evidence from seven other Ford Windstar fires in their wrongful death lawsuit against Ford Motor Co. and Obaugh Ford.

The Supreme Court ruling affirms an Albemarle County Circuit Court ruling that also excluded the evidence in the case involving the 2006 death of Emily Funkhouser. The 3-year-old died and her twin brother was badly hurt when a 2001 Ford Windstar caught fire soon after they climbed in. The van was in their parents' Waynesboro driveway.

Investigators said the fire was likely an electrical one.   

In making its ruling Thursday, the Virginia Supreme Court said none of the other Windstar fires "were the same or substantially similar to the Funkhouser fire." The court said any expert testimony based on those fires would be based on assumptions that "have an insufficient factual basis."

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