Auto Service World
News   December 23, 2002   by Auto Service World

U.S. Law Firm Continues Push for Additional Actions Against Bridgestone/Firestone


A California law firm says evidence is mounting against Bridgestone/Firestone over problems with its Steeltex tires.
The law firm says that reports of tire failures continue to pour in to both itself and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Lisoni & Lisoni, the Pasadena-based law firm that filed the lawsuit in August of this year against Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc. and Bridgestone Corporation, Inc., announced that complaints continue to be received on a daily basis from owners of Firestone Steeltex R4S, R4SII and A/T tires reporting tire separations as well as the accidents and injuries allegedly caused by them.
According to Joseph L. Lisoni, the complaints being received by the firm in conjunction with its independent investigation are being collected, analyzed and forwarded every two weeks to the NHTSA. He also noted that many complaints from the public are being filed directly with the NHTSA.
Lisoni said the firm will continue to provide the NHTSA with complaints of Steeltex tire failures — either directly or indirectly — as part of its effort to encourage the government agency to require Bridgestone/Firestone to recall the more than 30 million Steeltex tires now on the market. On November 15, Lisoni & Lisoni filed a petition with the NHTSA requesting that the agency reopen its investigation of the Steeltex tire series which it suspended on April 9 of this year.
While reports of alleged Steeltex tire failures are being received from all areas of the nation, Lisoni indicated that the four states with the most complaints are Texas, Florida, California and Arizona. He announced that he is sending letters to the governors of those states advising them of the high incidence of reported tire failures in their states. He is also sending one to President George W. Bush to advise him that Texas is the leading source of complaints.
As part of the firm’s public and private sector awareness program to warn of the alleged defects in the Steeltex tire series, Lisoni said copies of the complaints also would be sent on a regular basis to U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta and Dr. Jeffrey W. Runge, NHTSA Administrator. Warning letters will also be sent to all governors, U.S. Senators and Congressmen.
Noting that a significant amount of deaths and injuries may have resulted from the alleged Steeltex tire failures, Lisoni commented: “We are leaving no stone unturned to put every appropriate person in government on notice that these tires are a threat to the public’s safety and welfare. As the hospitals become flooded with patients, no one can claim they were not warned.”
Lisoni stressed that the problem with the Steeltex tires has now become global and foreign governments have moved quickly to protect their citizens. He pointed to the recent order by the Brazilian government to recall the Steeltex tires as well as the action taken by Saudi Arabia in October to ban all import of Firestone tires.
In the U.S., Lisoni added, because of Steeltex tire failures and accidents and injuries allegedly caused by them, many citizens are involved in litigation with Bridgestone/Firestone. As examples, he said an 88-year-old woman in Arizona recently filed a lawsuit against Bridgestone/Firestone for a broken neck and wrist she suffered during an automobile accident allegedly caused by a Steeltex tire failure. He also noted that the tire manufacturer did not contest a recent lawsuit by a California man who experienced a tire failure and sued for damages.
Lisoni reported the tire separation problems have even caused major retail outlets carrying Firestone Steeltex tires to seek redress from the tire manufacturer. He cited court papers filed by Sears Roebuck and Co. on June 21 of this year asking a federal judge to order Bridgestone/Firestone to cover all legal costs and damages that could result from 11 tread-separation lawsuits in which Sears is a co-defendant.


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