Firestone Class Action Lawsuit Attorneys,Send Warning and Collect Evidence on Steeltex TiresPASADENA, Calif.--Oct. 14, 2002--Attorneys who filed the national class action lawsuit against Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc. and Bridgestone Corporation for the alleged defects in the Firestone Steeltex tires series are in the process of issuing warnings to government entities nationally and internationally as well as consumers and retail outlets that sell the tires. Additionally, evidence of tire defects is being collected, which will be presented to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) in mid-November.
According to Joseph L. Lisoni, of the Pasadena, CA-based law firm of Lisoni & Lisoni, which filed the lawsuit in conjunction with The Law Offices of Steven E. Weinberger, the primary goal of the lawsuit is to force Bridgestone/Firestone to recall the Steeltex R4S, R4SII and A/T tire brands. If that fails, he stressed the DOT's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) must reopen its investigation of the tire series, which it suspended on April 9, 2002.
Noting that Bridgestone/Firestone has adamantly refused to recall the tire series and that the NHTSA shows no signs of reopening the investigation, Lisoni reported that a major effort has been undertaken to warn Steeltex tire owners and retailers of the tires of the alleged defects as well as government officials and entities that have responsibility for public safety.
Lisoni remarked: "As the litigation process can be long, we do not want to sit idly by while people whose vehicular and personal safety depends on these tires may be severely injured on any given day. We are receiving reports on a daily basis from people who have experienced defects, accidents and injuries from damaged Steeltex tires. It is clear Firestone won't initiate a recall and the NHTSA wants more evidence to warrant reopening its investigation. This we intend to give them."
When the class action lawsuit was filed on August 13, 2002, Lisoni promised to deliver sufficient evidence to reopen the government investigation in 90 days. In a September 5, 2000 letter to U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta and Dr. Jeffrey W. Runge, NHTSA Administrator, lawsuit attorneys urged the NHTSA to reopen its investigation and barring that, said that they would deliver the complaints, supporting documentation and defective tires they had amassed to the NHTSA in Washington, D.C. on November 14.
Lisoni reported that attorneys have sent letters to over 50,000 owners of Steeltex tires warning them of potential defects in the tires and requesting information on any problems. As a result, attorneys have received a steady stream of telephone calls, letters and e-mails from citizens all over the country reporting defects, accidents and injuries. By November 14, "we expect to present truckloads of documentation and defective tires to the NHTSA," he pointed out.
As to warning government entities and seeking their assistance, Lisoni said letters were mailed to the attorneys general of all 50 states and many have responded, indicating they would have their Departments of Transportation investigate the situation. Letters were also sent to the United Nations representatives of many foreign nations. As many Steeltex tires are on new and old vehicles that go overseas, it was important that they be aware of the potential for defects. He added, "At least two deaths have been linked to a Firestone Steeltex R4S tire manufactured in Mexico."
Lisoni reported a major effort was initiated to alert retail outlets that sold Steeltex tires of the potential serious consequences to public safety should the tires they sell be defective as well as the legal ramifications to the stores themselves. The stores and their sales people were advised that they "may be held liable for any property damage or personal injury which results from their failure if you don't warn the customer of the known or suspected problems with the subject tire."
According to Lisoni, 847 outlets of Sears received the letters as well as 480 Big O tire stores, 600 Firestone dealers, over 600 Pep Boys stores, and over 800 independent discount tire stores. While some individual contacts from the stores were received by the attorneys, he said that responses mainly came from legal counsel for the chains. Sears, Pep Boys and Firestone all requested the attorneys to "cease and desist" from contacting their stores. "We believe the message got across to those interacting with the public and we hope it will have some positive effect on a one-on-one basis," Lisoni emphasized.
To facilitate the collecting of information and to enable the public to contact the government directly with any complaints about Steeltex tires, a website has been set up for this purpose: www.firestonesteeltexclassaction.com. The attorneys may also be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 626/440-1333.