HOUSTON (March 5)—Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. and the Houston law firm of Houssiere Durant & Houssiere have announced the settlement of 26 lawsuits against the tire maker. Bridgestone/Firestone said nothing beyond confirmation of the settlements. Neither the company nor Linda Houssiere, an attorney with the law firm, revealed the terms of the settlements, though Houssiere said her firm´s client received a "premium" from the tire maker. Most of the cases were filed in Texas state courts, and "about 90 percent" were part of the 200-plus consolidated cases in the federal district court in Indianapolis, Houssiere said. The firm still has "a few" cases against Firestone to be adjudicated, she added. "Many of our clients are ecstatic over the settlements, and nobody has said he´s not pleased," she said. "Quite a few of them expressed joy in a way I haven´t related to a product liability case. I guess it´s because the cases are still very early along in the process, so there hasn´t been time to develop the animosity that develops in cases like this." The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has reported 174 deaths around the U.S. from accidents involving Firestone tires.