STUART, Fla. (June 20)—A bereaved family has slapped Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. with a $1 billion personal injury lawsuit. Edelio and Norma Herrera of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., were killed May 30, 2000, when the Firestone right rear tire on their 1997 Ford Explorer separated, causing the vehicle to overturn. Their son, daughter-in-law and 1-year-old grandson were severely injured in the crash. B. Willie Gary, senior partner in the Stuart law firm of Gary Williams Parenti, claims the tire maker received tread separation complaints as early as 1992, but ignored employee warnings about faulty quality control and manufacturing practices. "We take very seriously any accidents in which our tires are involved, and our sympathies go out to those who were involved in the accident," the company said in a prepared statement. "But accidents happen for a number of reasons. What specifically happened here will be addressed in the judicial process." The case has been filed in the Martin County Circuit Court in Stuart.
Family files $1 billion lawsuit against Bridgestone/Firestone
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