1 down, hundreds to go

McALLEN, Texas — After settling a highly publicized lawsuit Friday, Aug. 24, Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. faces hundreds of additional lawsuits related to allegedly faulty tires.

The tire maker agreed to settle a Texas woman's $1 billion lawsuit over a tire-failure accident for a reported $7.5 million. The deal was announced after a federal court jury in Texas began its fourth day of deliberations in the first lawsuit to go to trial since the massive Firestone tire recall began a year ago.

Ford Motor Co., also a defendant in the case, had settled earlier with the plaintiffs for $6 million. The Texas woman was injured while driving a Ford Explorer that flipped over after a tire blowout. Ford declined to comment on the tire maker's settlement Friday.

An estimated 400 lawsuits have been filed against Bridgestone/Firestone, and the company has reached out-of-court settlements in more than 100 cases involving allegations of defective tires. Federal investigators have linked Firestone tires to crashes that have resulted in 203 deaths and 700 serious injuries in the United States. Bridgestone Corp. of Japan has said it had taken charges totaling $450 million because of the tire recall.

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