LOS ANGELES (Sept. 20)—Bridgestone/Firestone and Ford Motor Co. have settled a rollover case that went to trial Sept. 16. Cristina Hernandez and two passengers suffered severe injuries, and a third passenger was killed, in an Oct. 31, 1999, accident near Bakersfield, Calif., when Hernandez's Ford Explorer rolled over after a Firestone tire on the vehicle failed. A BFS spokesman said the tire maker's experts could have proved that the tire previously had suffered impact damage, and that Hernandez had been driving at least 85 mph. But the settlement cut short a trial that could have lasted as long as three months, he added. So far BFS and Ford have settled more than 700 rollover cases. Only two have ever gone to full trial against Bridgestone/Firestone; one was settled before the jury reached a verdict, and one was a victory for BFS.
Ford, Firestone settle L.A. rollover lawsuit
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