EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill.—A Mississippi tire dealership has filed a lawsuit—that potentially could become a class-action—against Bridgestone/ Firestone Inc. for alleged problems with Firestone tires.
The suit was filed Oct. 12 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois on behalf of Lexington Quality Tire and Lube Inc., a Firestone retailer based in Holmes County, Miss. It claims Bridgestone/Firestone knew its tires had caused serious injuries, failed to disclose those problems to the plaintiff, and made false and/or misleading representations in the advertising of its tires.
The suit further claims that Lexington Quality Tire will incur financial losses because of Bridgestone/Firestone's "misconduct" that led to the recall of 6.5 million Firestone ATX, ATX II and Wilderness AT tires.
The plaintiff seeks unspecified compensatory damages, treble damages, an award of BFS' profits on ATX and Wilderness AT sales and attorney's fees.
The class is defined as all independent Firestone dealers in the U.S. who purchased Firestone tires from Jan. 1, 1997, through August 2000, and "who have been damaged or believe that they are" because of the following allegations:
BFS' false and misleading representation of its tires to the plaintiff and class;
BFS' failure to disclose, in a timely manner, problems with the tires;
BFS' recall of the tires; and
The unmarketability of Firestone tires resulting from the public perception of Firestone tires because of the above actions.
The lawsuit was filed in Illinois because of other pending litigation in that district which, although comprised of different class members, involve similar witnesses, documents and discovery.
Neither officials from Lexington Quality Tire nor attorneys for the dealership could be reached for comment.