LOS ANGELES (Sept. 20, 2002) — Bridgestone/Firestone and Ford Motor Co. have settled a rollover case that went to trial Sept. 16.
Cristina Hernandez and two passengers suffered severe injuries, and a third passenger was killed, in an Oct. 31, 1999, accident near Bakersfield, Calif., when Ms. Hernandez's Ford Explorer rolled over after a Firestone tire on the vehicle allegedly failed.
A BFS spokesman said the tire maker's experts could have proved that the tire had previously suffered impact damage and that Ms. Hernandez had been driving at least 85 mph. But the settlement cut short a trial that could have lasted as long as three months, he added.
So far the tire maker and Ford have settled more than 700 rollover cases. Only two have gone to full trial against BFS; one was settled before the jury reached a verdict, and one was a victory for the Nashville, Tenn.-based company.