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Bridgestone/Firestone Cases to Be Consolidated

October 26, 2000|Associated Press

Federal lawsuits filed against Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. over its recalled tires will be combined before an Indianapolis judge to make evidence-gathering more efficient, a federal judicial panel said. The ruling to consolidate the case before Chief Judge Sarah Evans Barker of the Southern District of Indiana was applauded by class-action attorneys and lawyers representing Bridgestone/Firestone and Ford Motor Co. "We believe, as many of the plaintiffs attorneys do, that coordinating will make the fact-finding more efficient and ultimately lead to a faster resolution," said Bridgestone/Firestone spokeswoman Karen Doyne. The government has been investigating more than 3,500 complaints about the tires, including reports of 119 deaths and more than 500 injuries. The panel said it chose southern Indiana because of its central location and Barker's ability to steer complex litigation.

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