WASHINGTON (Jan. 13)—The U.S. Supreme Court decided without comment to let stand a 7th Circuit Appeals Court decision to deny class action status for owners of 3 million Ford Explorers and 15 million Firestone tires. The suit—which sought compensation for alleged economic losses suffered by these consumers—was certified in December 2001 by an Indianapolis federal judge, but the appeals court twice ruled to overturn that decision. Bridgestone/Firestone applauded the Supreme Court's action. "The claims here are on behalf of people whose Firestone tires did not fail and who were not harmed at all," the tire maker said in a prepared statement. "Many of those people owned tires that were part of the recall and ended up with a full new set of tires at no cost." Don Barrett, the Lexington, Miss., attorney who headed the class action, could not be reached for comment.