AUGUST 14, 2001
Bridgestone-Firestone trials begin
THE future of the Bridgestone-Firestone tire empire may lie in the hands of the American courts - and given the vagaries of the system that is indeed an alarming concept. The company is facing over 200 lawsuits resulting from a series of tire failures and the first of those went to court this week in Texas where Dr. Joel Rodriguez and his family are claiming $1bn in damages. The family is claiming that Bridgestone made defective tires and put making money ahead of producing safe products. Lawyers are also claiming that the company lied to the American public and to the Ford Motor Company. Bridgestone is blaming Ford for the failures.
Bridgestone has already settled as many as 150 lawsuits out of court but no financial details have been given although the company is reckoned to have spent something in the region of $500m so far in its efforts to solve the problems.