BAY CITY, Texas (Aug. 21)—Bridgestone/Firestone has settled a group of pending lawsuits in which the company's tires allegedly failed. A spokesman for the firm declined to say how many lawsuits were in the group or how much money was involved. Among the settled cases was one involving three college students who were seriously injured in Texas in June 1999 when their Ford Explorer and U-Haul trailer overturned; their lawsuit claimed a Firestone tire on the Explorer failed, but BFS insisted the tire damage occurred only as a result of the accident. "This was a non-tire-failure event," the BFS spokesman said. "We had a very strong case and zero responsibility for that accidentà(But) from an economic standpoint, it was a smart move to settle the case."