WASHINGTON—Goodyear and two attorneys who represented the tire maker in a product liability case have petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court for a ruling that lower federal courts used faulty judgment in forcing them to pay more than $2.74 million in damages.
Basil J. Musnuff filed a writ with the high court June 7, joining Goodyear and fellow attorney Graeme Hancock in asking the court to vacate the judgment issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on July 20, 2015.
By a 2-1 vote, the Ninth Circuit upheld a November 2012 decision by Judge Roslyn O. Silver of the Arizona federal district court, ordering Goodyear, Musnuff and Hancock to pay damages.
The original case was filed in 2005 by the late Leroy Haeger, who was injured in 2003 along with his family when his motor home crashed.
Haeger blamed a Goodyear G159 tire that was original equipment on the motor home for the crash, and claimed the tire was never meant to be mounted on a motor home.
Goodyear and the Haegers announced a settlement on April 24, 2010, the first day of trial. Two years later, however, the district court accused Goodyear and the attorneys of withholding relevant testing data and then lying about it.
Silver ordered Goodyear and the attorneys not only to pay damages but also to file a copy of her decision with any court considering a case involving a G159 tire. Goodyear could petition on a case-by-case basis to be excused from the latter requirement, she ruled.
Ninth Circuit Judge Milan J. Smith Jr., ruling in the majority, said the district court did not abuse its discretion. However, Judge Paul J. Watford dissented, saying he agreed with the allegations of misconduct but adding he would have vacated the monetary damages.
The high court is scheduled to rule on the petition July 11, according to the Supreme Court website.