GAFFNEY, S.C. (July 12)—Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. and Ford Motor Co. have settled four lawsuits filed in South Carolina´s Cherokee County Court of Common Pleas for an undisclosed amount. The suits were on behalf of Eddie Bostic, Lisa Smith, Robert Lewis and LeAnne Davis. They all were riding in Bostic's Ford Explorer with LeAnne Davis driving in July 2000 when a tread separated on a Firestone tire on the vehicle. Smith and the Davises were seriously injured in the resulting crash. Plaintiffs´ attorney Ken Holland also named Ronnie Burns Ford of Chesnee, S.C., and Vic's Tire Service of Gaffney as co-defendants in the suit, but neither paid any money in the settlement, according to Holland. "We named them in the suit just to keep the case in the county where the accident occurred," he said. "If we ended up in federal court as part of a multidistrict litigation, it would have been nine years before the case was heard."