CHICAGO (April 19, 2002) — The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments April 17 for and against the motions of Bridgestone/Firestone and Ford Motor Co. to overturn an Indianapolis federal judge's certification of a class-action lawsuit against both companies.
The multi-district litigation (MDL), certified last November, involves as many as 3 million Ford Explorer owners and 15 million Firestone tire owners—part of a class action in product defect cases involving neither physical injury nor property damage. “The issues involved are way too varied to justify class action certification,” a Bridgestone/Firestone spokeswoman said. “They make the process less manageable, which is the opposite of what an MDL is supposed to do.”
The appeals court will rule at its discretion, and it's hard to say when that decision will come down, the spokeswoman added.