Transcript - Ford/Bridgestone/Firestone Lawsuit - NBC 5 News - October 11, 2000

Ford/Firestone Class Action
NBC 5 News
October 11, 2000
5:00 P.M.

Marion Brooks: A Chicago husband and wife say they've been permanently injured by defective tires on their car. Now they're filing a huge lawsuit against Firestone and Ford. So far defective tires sold under the name's of Firestone and Bridgestone have allegedly been tied to 62 deaths in the United States

Warner Saunders: Now a Chicago couple is asking for millions of dollars in damages. Not just for them, but for other alleged victims of the defective tires. NBC 5's Amy Jacobson now joins us from the newsroom with details. Amy.

Amy Jacobson: Warner, there have been other class-action lawsuits filed but this one is the first one seeking recovery for injuries and death caused by the defective tires. Now this afternoon Attorney Kenneth Moll filed the complaint in the Circuit Court of Cook County.

Harry Benford: Outrage.

Amy Jacobson: His name is Harry Benford and tonight he is the class representative in a lawsuit filed against Bridgestone/ Firestone and Ford. Back in 1997 Harry and his wife Martha rented a Ford Explorer. They were north of Vanhorn, Texas, in the desert when allegedly there was tread separation on their tires. The Explorer rolled over 4 times.

Harry Benford: They knew about this defect on this product, and that they would let this product be put on a vehicle that can cause this kind of damage.... We were out in the desert and sat there for an hour and a half to two hours before another vehicle came by and called on the cell phone.

Amy Jacobson: Harry suffered from a number of cuts and bruises. His wife Martha though had 5 operations, including a colostomy. Now the family has hired an Attorney, Kenneth Moll, who says he has proof the company concealed the data. So far only the 15 inch tires from ATX, ATX2, and Wilderness from the Decatur plant have been recalled. The Benford's tire was 16 inches. The same kind of tire that has already been recalled in Europe.

Ken Moll: One of the biggest purposes of this class-action suit is to inform people out there that they are driving around on tires that could be defective that are not included in the recall. I don't want them to go away with the assumption that because their tire is not included in the recall that it's safe.

Amy Jacobson: Their Attorney Kenneth Moll also filed an emergency motion, a protective order against the company, to keep them from destroying the tires. Today Congressional Investigators went to the Firestone plant in Tennessee to inspect their production line, and we will have that part of the story coming up at 6. Live in the newsroom, Amy Jacobson, NBC 5 News.