From aftermarketNews.com Staff & Wire Reports
BEAUMONT, TX — State District Judge Donald Floyd in Beaumont, Texas, has approved a $149 million settlement of 30 class-action lawsuits filed on behalf of Bridgestone/Firestone tire owners.
The announcement comes more than three years after the 2000 recall of 14.4 million Firestone tires. Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire (BFNAT) agreed to the proposed settlement last July.
The settlement calls for BFNAT to spend estimated $70 million to replace tires, $41 million to improve tire quality, $15.5 million on a consumer education campaign, and $19 million for attorneys’ fees. The company has paid $3.5 million to notify owners of the settlement.
The 45 named plaintiffs each could receive up to $2,500. Those who are not named, but who owned one of four types of tires between 1991 and 2001, can have their tires replaced. The settlement involved only plaintiffs who had not suffered any injuries or property damage.
“We believe that this settlement really is in the best interest of all concerned,” said Dan MacDonald, BFNAT spokesman. But Attorney Mitchell Toups said that he plans to appeal the decision.
The lawsuits resolved include those filed by Firestone ATX, ATX II and Wilderness AT customers whose tires were among those investigated by NHTSA in 2000. Approximately 271 U.S. traffic deaths have been blamed on the tires, most of which were sold with the Ford Explorer.
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