The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected without comment Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.'s appeal of a $3.3 million damage award upheld by the Mississippi Supreme Court.
The high court's ruling came down Oct. 7, in a 94-page list containing the court's first orders for the 2002 session. Cooper's appeal, like most of the others, was dismissed in a single line.
Cooper is ``extremely disappointed'' by the ruling, said a spokeswoman for the Findlay, Ohio-based tire maker.
In its May 30, 2002, brief to the high court, Cooper argued the award was so excessive that it violated the company's due process rights under the U.S. Constitution.
The original lawsuit was brought by the family of Laura Dawn Tuckier, who was killed Oct. 13, 1995, near Sardis, Miss., when a Cooper tire on her Ford Bronco allegedly lost its tread and caused the vehicle to roll over.
In the original trial, both the expert witness and two ex-Cooper employees testified that Cooper used bad rubber in making the tire, which caused it to come apart. Cooper denied this, saying the tire had suffered previous road damage and that the ex-employees sought revenge against the company.
The jury awarded the Tuckiers $3.3 million, including $3 million in punitive damages, and the Mississippi Supreme Court upheld the trial court.