TORONTO (May 10, 2001) — The first Canadian class-action lawsuit against Ford Motor Co. and Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. has been filed in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.
Filed on behalf of Michelle Rambharos, a Brampton, Ont., woman injured when her 1995 Ford Explorer equipped with Firestone tires rolled over, the litigation claims that the tires “have an unreasonably dangerous propensity to fail” and that the Explorer is also unusually prone to rollovers. “The tire defect and rollover defect work in combination with each other, and are synergistic,” the complaint alleges.
Joel Rochon, one of the attorneys for Ms. Rambharos, said that “a large number of people” are potential parties to the suit, although no analysis has yet been performed to determine how many. There will be “a definite opportunity to share information” between the Canadian and various U.S. class-actions in the Ford-BFS case, Mr. Rochon said, but added it is unlikely that the Canadian class-action will combine with any of the U.S. suits.
“We have our own courts and our own system of justice,” he said.
The attorneys will file certification material in the next couple of months, Mr. Rochon added, and expect to obtain a date for a certification hearing within the same time frame.
Bridgestone/Firestone officials could not be reached for comment.