Texas Ford Firestone
Sears may appeal $ 29 Million Dollar Rollover/ Tire Defect Lawsuit
Reuters News Service
Sears, Roebuck &
Co. said Friday it is considering an appeal against its share of a $29
million Texas jury award to the family of a man killed in an auto rollover
accident involving a Bridgestone/Firestone tire.
A state jury in
Orange assessed 35 percent of the damages against Sears, which sold and
later repaired the tire, and 65 percent against the manufacturer, Bridgestone/Firestone.
The dead man's family
had already reached a settlement with Bridgestone/Firestone, a unit of
Japan's Bridgestone Corp.
Sears said it disagreed
with the jury's verdict and believed it handled the tire correctly.
"We are considering
our options, and that certainly would include the possibility of an appeal,"
spokeswoman Jan Drummond said. Tripp's family accused Sears of negligence
in failing to properly repair or replace the tire and also alleged that
the Bridgestone/Fire-stone Dueler APT tire was defective in its design
and manufacture. In September 2000, Tripp was a passenger in a Chevrolet
Blazer fitted with Dueler APT, when the tread on one of the tires separated,
causing it to veer off the road and overturn, according to the plaintiffs.
have linked rollover accidents involving Ford Explorers and Firestone
tires to 271 deaths and more than 800 injuries.Ford and Bridgestone/Firestone
say they have replaced nearly 30 million of those tires since issuing
a recall two years ago. Numerous similar cases have previously been settled
before they went to trial, most of them involving Firestone Wilderness
AT and ATX tires fitted to Ford Explorer vehicles.