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Closing Indiana's largest MDL line

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Indiana Lawyer Rehearing

The final case in the Bridgestone/Firestone multi-district litigation has come to a close in the Southern District of Indiana, putting an end to a line of litigation that began more than a decade ago.

On May 25, U.S. Judge Sarah Evans Barker dismissed Gwendolyn Scott, et. al. v. Bridgestone American Tire Operations, et al., No. 1:10-CV-5853, that fell under the MDL umbrella in the tires product liability litigation. During the life of this MDL, 853 individual cases were transferred to the court and 14,087 docket entries were made since Oct. 26, 2000.

The Bridgestone/Firestone group has been the largest MDL action in Indiana, arising from allegations that a design defect in Ford Explorer tires caused the treads to separate prematurely and lead to vehicle rollovers. Plaintiffs came from all over the United States and foreign countries. The Gwendolyn Scott case, received in January 2010, was the final case sent to the Southern District.

Another case – Gonzalez-Servin v. Ford Motor Company, et al, No. 11-1665 – remains before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The MDL was initially assigned to Judge Barker and Magistrate Judge V. Sue Shields, then later saw involvement by Magistrates Jane Magnus-Stinson and Debra McVicker Lynch. The latter was appointed as special master on the cases Nov. 1, 2000, and eventually became the assigned magistrate after joining the bench in 2008.

Rehearing: "In the news, and onto the docket"  IL Feb. 2 - 15, 2011

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