Ford, Firestone and Florida
Contact Anita Kumar:
Sarah Evans Barker
The chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana since 1994, Barker is presiding over a massive federal suit against Ford and Firestone that deals with personal injuries and property damage. She is considering whether to grant a request by some victims' attorneys to expand last year's voluntary recall of Firestone tires. If she decides to do so, she will only be the second judge in U.S. history to issue a recall. Barker, 57, became a federal judge in 1984 and, a decade later, she was named chief judge.
A partner at Colson Hicks Eidson since 1982, Eidson is co-lead counsel representing hundreds of victims in personal injury claims in the massive federal suit against Ford and Firestone. The Coral Gables attorney specializes in product liability, medical and legal malpractice, aviation litigation and class action. Eidson, 54, has sued domestic and foreign auto makers, including a case against Ford in 1975 for the exploding Pinto gas tank. He also sued Firestone for accidents involving Firestone 500 tires recalled in the 1970s.
An Ocala lawyer, Kaster is one of the nation's foremost experts on tire litigation. He is a partner with Green, Kaster & Falvey, specializing in product liability, personal injury and wrongful death cases. Kaster, 54, has sued Ford, Firestone General Motors, Honda, Mitsubishi, Michelin, Uniroyal and Goodyear and has been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and other newspapers since the Ford-Firestone scandal broke. Since graduating from the University of Florida College of Law, he has been practicing as a civil trial lawyer in Ocala.
An attorney with Turner & Associates in Little Rock, Ark., Turner is one of the nation's top experts in vehicle rollover litigation. He has sued auto makers for accidents involving sudden acceleration, ABS malfunctions, park-to-reverse and passenger protection. Turner, 41, has handled more than 100 cases involving the Ford Explorer, Ford Bronco II, Isuzu Rodeo, Nissan Pathfinder among others. Turner, who received the highest jury verdict in Arkansas history, has become somewhat of a media celebrity since the Ford-Firestone story broke last year and has been quoted frequently and photographed with his private jet.
Two months after last year's recall was announced, Bridgestone/Firestone showed its faith in Lampe's ability to get the company through the tough times ahead. He was named chief executive officer. Lampe's first act as CEO was to apologize to those hurt by Firestone tires. He also announced an immediate three-point plan of accelerating the recall effort, assembling a new management team and creating new ways to analyze data. Lampe, 53, joined the company in 1973 in its Cincinnati office and worked his way up the corporate ladder.
The Ford leader has been visible on TV commercials since news of the problems broke last year. Though he apologized for the tragic accidents he has continued to blame the tires for all the problems. Nasser, 53, an Australian citizen, became Ford chief executive officer in 1999. He joined Ford of Australia in 1968 as a financial analyst and has held several jobs with Ford's international and U.S. operations. He worked on a joint venture with Volkswagen in Brazil and Argentina, the development of business and operating plans for Ford's Mexico assembly plant and negotiations of Ford's South African joint venture.
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