FORD LOSES APPEAL
The Wisconsin Court of Appeals has affirmed a lemon-law judgment in favor of the owners of a 1991 Ford Explorer that had cracked cylinder heads. The nine days owners Marvin and LaVonne Theis drove it with a diagnostic dye injected in the coolant to determine whether coolant and engine oil were mingling count toward the minimum 30-day out-of-service period, the court ruled. 'The Theises had only limited use of the Explorer (during those days), driving it only to facilitate the diagnostic coolant-dye test.' It also said the failure of Ford's outside attorney to attend a scheduled pretrial hearing was an insufficient basis to overturn the judgment against the company. Ford said it plans no further appeal.
FREON VERDICT UPHELD
A federal appeals court has upheld the 1996 Michigan conviction and 15-month prison sentence of a man who illegally sold Freon to an uncertified buyer. An auto repair shop owner tipped off the EPA after seeing Larry Leon Toby's newspaper ad offering Freon to uncertified buyers. The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati affirmed the guilty verdict against Toby for selling two 12-ounce cans of Freon to an FBI informant. The jury in Detroit also convicted him of obstruction of justice for submitting altered EPA documents to the FBI and for lying to the FBI. The appeals court noted that when the informant told Toby he didn't have the necessary certification, Toby replied, 'You don't need nothing but cash.'
SPOKANE, Wash. - A woman paralyzed in a rollover accident has settled her $11.3 million lawsuit against Toyota Motor Corp. for an undisclosed sum. The agreement was reached five days before the trial was expected to begin in U.S. District Court in Spokane. Melinda Martens-Sagiao was a passenger in a Toyota 4Runner in a 1995 accident in which the sport-utility rolled after sliding on some gravel. She suffered brain and spinal injuries, leaving her paralyzed below the shoulders, the suit said. The suit alleged that defects in Toyota's sport-utilities make them prone to roll over.
The Associated Press