A Final Judgment and Order of Dismissal was entered on January 23, 2009 finalizing the settlement and resolving the lawsuit. Plaintiff attorneys were awarded 25% of the $30 million settlement and reimbursement of expenses in the amount of $1,586,897.98 plus interest.
Hearings on the motion to dismiss were held in September 2007 when parties also reached a preliminary settlement agreement. As a result, the judge denied as moot the pending motions to dismiss, allowing them to be refiled in the event a settlement was not consummated. However, parties filed motions for settlement on December 31, 2007. The settlement was preliminarily approved on September 30, 2008. The agreement stipulates that Bridgestone will pay $30 million to the class in exchange for dismissal of all claims.
According to the latest docket posted, on May 3, 2006, the Court entered the Memorandum and Opinion and Order signed by U.S. District Judge Robert Echols granting in part and denying the defendants’ motion to dismiss. On July 26, 2006, the plaintiffs filed a motion to certify the class. On November 27, 2006, the defendant Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc. filed a motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction.
On April 11, 2001, the Court entered the Order by Magistrate Judge Joe B. Brown granting the motion to consolidate related actions against Bridgestone Corp., et al. for violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. That same day, the Court also entered the Order granting the motion for order to appoint plaintiff City of Monroe Employees Retirement System as lead plaintiff and to approve lead plaintiff’s choice of counsel, Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP and Barrack Rodos & Bacine. On May 11, 2001, a Consolidated Complaint was filed, and the defendants responded by filing motions to dismiss the Consolidated Complaint. On October 1, 2002, the Court entered the Order by Judge Robert L. Echols granting deft Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc.'s motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, denying in part and granting in part deft Bridgestone Corporation's motion to dismiss. Specifically, the motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction was denied and the motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim was granted. Further, the individuals defendants' motions to dismiss were granted, and the case was dismissed. The plaintiffs filed a motion to alter judgment and for leave to amend the complaint. On February 27, 2003, the Court entered the Order by Judge Robert L. Echol denying the plaintiffs’ motion. On March 25, 2003, the plaintiffs filed a notice of appeal. On June 15, 2005, the Court entered the Mandate from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals affirming in part and reversing and remanding in part the Decision of the District Court.
The original complaint alleges that during the class period, Bridgestone and its U.S. subsidiary, Bridgestone/Firestone had knowledge of thousands of claims for and complaints concerning ATX tire failures, especially ATX tires manufactured at Bridgestone/Firestone's Decatur, Illinois, plant during and after a bitter 1994-1996 strike, due to design and manufacturing defects that resulted in over 2,200 rollover accidents, over 500 serious injuries and approximately 150 fatalities by 2000. Nevertheless, according to the complaint, Bridgestone made false and misleading statements about the effectiveness and integrity of its product design, testing and manufacturing processes and the quality and safety of its products.