Ford-Firestone plaintiffs again told no on class action
CHICAGO (AP) -- A federal appeals court on Thursday rejected another attempt to gain class action status for millions of Americans who opt to sue Ford Motor Co. and Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. over allegedly faulty tires.
The full 7th Circuit Court of Appeals refused to reconsider the earlier ruling by three of its members that overturned a decision that would have let plaintiffs across the country join a single lawsuit.
That lawsuit would involve loss of value and consumer protection issues -- not injury or death claims -- following the recall of millions of Bridgestone/Firestone tires and related problems with Explorer rollovers.
Plaintiffs' lawyers had argued the three-judge panel wrongly applied the law regarding class action when they overturned the earlier ruling by U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker granting class status.
The three-judge panel said a single class would not be manageable, in part because each plaintiff's case would be different and based on the laws in various states. None of the rulings apply to hundreds of personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits filed against the companies.
Over the past two years, Firestone has recalled about 10 million tires amid lawsuits and government investigations of allegations that failure of the tires led to crashes across the country.