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Old 03-31-2005, 14:44   #1 (permalink)
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US:Ford loses appeal on engine part class action suit

Ford loses appeal on engine part class action suit

Reuters

SAN FRANCISCO -- A legal claim against Ford Motor Co. over allegedly defective engine parts can proceed as a class action lawsuit, a federal appeals court ruled on Thursday.

The suit focuses on plastic intake manifolds in some Ford cars. The plaintiffs said Ford knew the plastic intake manifold could crack as early as 1995; its use was discontinued in 2002.

Ford challenged the effort to make the dispute into a class action, which allows one or more people to sue on behalf of a larger group. The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals denied Ford's appeal of a lower court decision granting class action certification.

"Ford claims that it is being forced into the prospect of an 'all or nothing' class trial in which well over 100,000 class members will be collectively seeking an award approaching or exceeding $100 million dollars in damages and attorneys' fees," a three-judge panel ruled.

"Ford has made no showing that it lacks the resources to defend this case to a conclusion and appeal if necessary or that doing so would 'run the risk of ruinous liability,'" said the decision upholding a lower court's grant of class action status.

"Although the instant lawsuit is definitely more than a mere unpleasantry, the impact of the class certification alone does not support an appeal. Further, the district court did not abuse its discretion in finding that, absent a class action, class plaintiffs would have no meaningful redress against Ford."
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Old 04-01-2005, 15:06   #2 (permalink)
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Re: US:Ford loses appeal on engine part class action suit

Ford Loses Appeal to Stop Lawsuit

Bloomberg News

Ford Motor Co., the second-biggest U.S. automaker, lost a court appeal that sought to keep a lawsuit over an allegedly defective engine part from proceeding as a group claim on behalf of about 100,000 people.

The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco rejected Ford's argument that a trial judge in Oakland improperly decided that the plaintiffs could sue as a class.

Ford had sought appeals court review before the case goes to trial, arguing that certification of a class action created "tremendous pressure" to settle. The suit seeks more than $100 million in damages and attorneys' fees.

"Although the district court was succinct, it provided detailed, substantive examples of the common issues," the appeals court's decision said. "Requiring the district court to expand its analysis would produce nothing more than a lengthy explanation of the obvious."

The appeals court's decision to not review the certification order was based on "its view that appeals before trial are strongly disfavored," Ford spokeswoman Kathleen Vokes said. "If necessary, Ford will again ask the 9th Circuit to review the trial court's order after trial," she said.

The suit claims Ford installed plastic intake manifolds that were prone to cracking and causing coolant leaks on its 1996 to 2001 Mercury Grand Marquis, Lincoln Town Car and Ford Crown Victoria cars, as well as 2002 Explorers and 1998 to 2001 Mustangs. Ford stopped using the manifolds in 2002.

Ford shares fell 11 cents to $11.33 on the New York Stock Exchange.
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