CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (Jan. 8)—Ford Motor Co. and Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. have settled what would have been the first court case to go to trial involving Ford Explorers equipped with Firestone tires. Donna Bailey, a 44-year-old Portland, Texas, woman, was riding in a friend´s Explorer when the tread on one of its tires separated and the vehicle rolled over. Bailey, who was rendered quadriplegic in the crash, sought $100 million in damages from Ford and the tire maker. The amount of the settlement was not disclosed. Ford settled with Bailey Jan. 6 and with Bridgestone/Firestone a day or two later, according to a Ford spokeswoman. "We are pleased to have resolved this case privately with Mrs. Bailey, and once again we extend our deepest sympathies to her and her family," she said. Bridgestone/Firestone officials and Bailey´s attorneys could not be reached for comment. Ford and Bridgestone/Firestone began a recall Aug. 9 of 6.5 million 15-inch Firestone ATX and Wilderness AT tires that were original equipment on Explorers and other sport-utility vehicles. On Jan. 4, Public Citizen and Safetyforum.com issued a report calling for the recall of at least 5.6 million further Firestone tires.
Ford, Bridgestone/Firestone settle tire lawsuit
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