Ford accuses plaintiff of fraud, removes class action to federal court

Steve Korris Oct. 27, 2005, 6:54am

Ford Motor Company has removed a class action suit to federal court, accusing the plaintiff of fraud in naming a Wood River auto dealer as co-defendant.

Ford alleges that Rick Williams of East Alton sued Albrecht-Hamlin Chevrolet but did not accuse the dealer of doing anything wrong.

“Plaintiff has fraudulently joined Albrecht-Hamlin Chevrolet in a transparent attempt to prevent removal of this suit to federal court,” attorney Robert H. Shultz, Jr. of Heyl, Royster of Edwardsville wrote for Ford.

Williams sued Feb. 17, claiming that buyers of Ford F-150 extended cab pickup trucks were victims of misrepresentations.

His attorney, William E. Miller III of Alton, wrote that Williams bought a 2000 truck at the dealer in 2002.

Miller wrote that the exterior door skin cracked. "...said defect continues to this date,” he wrote.

He proposed a class of all U.S. owners of the truck, for model years back to 1997.

Miller claimed that Ford also hid from buyers the tendency of the under hood speed control deactivation switch to overheat, smoke or burn. He proposed a subclass of those victims.

Six months after he filed the complaint, Miller served it on the defendants.

Ford removed it Sept. 8, stating that the plaintiff failed to allege any facts on Albrecht-Hamlin.

Even if Ford knew of defects, the dealer would not have known, Schultz wrote.

Albrecht-Hamlin president Mark Hamlin stated in an affidavit that his business did not sell new Fords and had no affiliation or connection with Ford. He consented to removal.

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Organizations in this Story

Heyl Royster
124 SW Adams St
Peoria, IL 61602

Ford Motor Company
1 American Rd
Dearborn, MI 48126

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