Ford claims 'flake' class plaintiff lived in Texas

Steve Korris Jul. 28, 2006, 1:12am

Ford Motor Company wants Madison County Circuit Judge Andy Matoesian to shut down a Lakin Law Firm class action suit over paint flakes because the class representative lived in Texas.

Ford attorney Peter Herzog of St. Louis also argued in a July 17 motion for summary judgment that plaintiff Joyce Phillips did not buy the car with the alleged flaking problems.

He wrote that the flaking started in Texas when she lived in Texas.

Her husband bought the car and she was not there, he wrote.

"Phillips' deposition testimony established that she had no relationship with Ford," wrote Herzog.

"It is undisputed that the vehicle was purchased 'as is' and that plaintiff had nothing to do with the transaction."

Summary judgment would prevent Robert Schmieder of the Lakin firm from withdrawing Phillips as class representative and adding new plaintiffs.

Schmieder has moved to amend the complaint and convert Phillips from class representative to class member.

Schmieder's motion prompted Herzog to revive Ford's Texas argument, which retired Circuit Judge Phillip Kardis rejected in 2004.

Kardis also denied a Ford motion to disqualify Phillips as class representative because she worked for the Lakin firm.

Ford argued that Phillips could not adequately represent a class while working for class counsel.

Phillips claims paint flaked off cars Ford built in the 1970s and 1980s.

Kardis certified the suit as a class action in 2003.

Matoesian has set a hearing on all pending motions Aug. 18.

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Ford Motor Company
1 American Rd
Dearborn, MI 48126

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