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Class-Action Status Sought in Firestone Suits

October 06, 2000|Reuters

A Chicago law firm said it has filed the first complaint seeking worldwide class-action status to combine lawsuits against Firestone and Ford Motor Co. for injuries, deaths and economic loss allegedly resulting from tire blowouts and tread loss. Chicago law firm Kenneth B. Moll & Associates, which has been involved in several high-profile class-action lawsuits, including cases concerning breast implants and the fen-phen diet pill, filed a complaint to expand the firm's lawsuit against Firestone and Ford. The lawsuit seeks compensation for people around the world who were injured as a result of defective Firestone tires and an expansion of the tire recall. The lawsuit includes plaintiffs from the United States, Venezuela, Britain and Saudi Arabia. "It's unrealistic to think that one court can address the issues of every single claimant around the world for a multitude of different incidents and differing circumstances," said Ford spokeswoman Susan Krusel. Firestone said in a short statement that the proposed class-action lawsuit is "misdirected and baseless." The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, comprising judges from at least seven federal districts, will hold a hearing Oct. 17 in Washington to decide whether dozens of lawsuits against Firestone and Ford should be consolidated.

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