Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Official citation and/or docket number and footnotes (if any) for this case available with purchase.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

IN RE FORD MOTOR CO.

United States District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania


October 18, 2002

IN RE FORD MOTOR CO. CROWN VICTORIA POLICE INTERCEPTOR PRODUCTS LIABILITY LITIGATION MONTGOMERY TOWNSHIP, ET AL.
V.
FORD MOTOR CO.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Wm. Terrell Hodges, Chairman.

TRANSFER ORDER

This litigation presently consists of six actions: two actions in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania; and one action each in the Western District of Arkansas, the District of New Jersey, the Northern District of Ohio, and the Southern District of Texas.*fn1 Before the Panel is a motion, as amended, by defendant Ford Motor Company (Ford) and its dealers*fn2 to centralize these actions, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1407, for coordinated or consolidated pretrial proceedings in any federal district in which a constituent action is pending. The Ohio plaintiff supports the motion and suggests centralization in the Northern District of Ohio. The New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Texas plaintiffs oppose centralization and/or ask the Panel to defer its Section 1407 ruling in order to permit the transferor courts to rule on pending motions to remand these actions to their respective state courts. If the Panel deems centralization appropriate, these parties suggest selection of the district in which their respective action is pending as transferee district.

On the basis of the papers filed and hearing session held, the Panel finds that the actions in this litigation involve common questions of fact, and that centralization under Section 1407 in the Northern District of Ohio will serve the convenience of the parties and witnesses and promote the just and efficient conduct of this litigation. Common factual questions arise because all actions focus on allegations that the vertical-behind-axle fuel tanks in 1992-2002 Ford Crown Victoria police interceptor vehicles result in an increased risk of injury or death from fuel fed fires, if the vehicles are involved in high-speed rear-end collisions. In addition, all actions are brought by counties, municipalities and other political divisions within each state on behalf of nationwide, statewide or other purported classes which seek damages or other relief based upon economic injury arising from this alleged defect. Centralization under Section 1407 is thus necessary in order to avoid duplication of discovery, prevent inconsistent or repetitive pretrial rulings (such as those regarding class certification), and conserve the resources of the parties, their counsel and the judiciary. We note that any pending motions to remand these actions to their respective state courts can be presented to and decided by the transferee judge. See, e.g., In re Ivy, 901 F.2d 7 (2d Cir. 1990); In re Prudential Insurance Company of America Sales Practices Litigation; 170 F. Supp.2d 1346, 1347-48 (J.P.M.L. 2001).

Given the geographic dispersal of constituent actions and potential tag-along actions, no district stands out as the focal point for this docket. In selecting the Northern District of Ohio as the transferee district in this docket, we note that i) an action is pending there, and ii) this district has the capacity to handle this litigation.

IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1407, the actions listed on the attached Schedule A and pending outside the Northern District of Ohio are transferred to the Northern District of Ohio and, with the consent of that court, assigned to the Honorable Donald C. Nugent for coordinated or consolidated pretrial proceedings with the action pending there.


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Official citation and/or docket number and footnotes (if any) for this case available with purchase.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.