Another Death As a Result of Firestone ATX and Ford Explorer

CORAL GABLES (September 15, 2000) — The Law Firm of Colson Hicks Eidson today announced it filed a civil lawsuit on behalf of Silvia Bisbal Santana, the widow of twenty-seven-year-old Jose M. Santana, against Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. and Ford Motor Company for the death of her husband, who died when the left rear Firestone ATX tire tread separated on his 1996 Ford Explorer XLT causing the vehicle to roll over killing him instantly.

“As the number of fatalities associated with Firestone tire tread separation in the U.S. now increases to 89, outrage and sadness are the first two things that come to mind,” stated Mike Eidson, partner at Colson Hicks Eidson and attorney for the families of many victims who recently lost their lives due to faulty Firestone tires and who also litigated Firestone 500 tire cases in the late seventies.

“To see the faces of these young widows with their children and to realize how their lives have been irreparably changed as a result of something that could have been and should have been prevented is very disturbing,” added Eidson. “None of these accidents should have occurred; the tires were defective and they were put on a vehicle with a propensity to roll over—a lethal combination.”

On Saturday, September 11, 1999 the Santanas—who had been married for only two years—were traveling on Alligator Alley (I-75), near Weston, Florida, when their Ford Explorer rolled over and ejected Jose Santana, killing him immediately. Silvia Santana, who was seven months pregnant at the time, was left a widow at age 24 and is now a single mother to their one-year-old son Jose, Jr.

“Jose Santana was an extraordinary young man who had everything to live for including the birth of his baby boy,” said Robert Fernandez, an associate at Colson Hicks Eidson. “He had already embarked on a successful business career—working side by side with his wife Sylvia, an FIU Education graduate. In fact, the purpose of their trip was to negotiate the sale of a Latin theme restaurant chain Jose had conceived called Latin Café 2000.”

“It is disconcerting to listen to the testimony of the presidents of Firestone and Ford denying prior knowledge of the incidents and desperately trying to shift the blame to each other; there is plenty of fault to go around,” added Eidson, who is a past Chairman of the Products Liability Section of the American Trial Lawyers Association (ATLA) and the present Chairman of the Aviation Section.

“My deepest concern is that Firestone and Ford were aware of these incidents and did not report the problems to the government or the public. Without this information, consumers could not make an informed decision about purchasing and using these products,” stated Eidson. “Another tread separation-caused rollover happened in South Florida two days ago. Fortunately, no one was seriously injured. I believe these incidents will continue to occur until all faulty tires are off the road.”



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