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Judge Throws Out Bronco Settlement

Times Staff and Wire Reports

For the second time, a federal judge has thrown out a proposed settlement of a lawsuit covering 658,000 Ford Bronco II owners who contend the vehicle is prone to rolling over. U.S. District Judge Morey Sear in New Orleans ruled that the proposal, which offered owners free inspections and up to $200 for parts and repairs, was “not sufficiently fair, reasonable and adequate.” His decision was dated Monday. Sear had also rejected a proposed settlement in 1995. Saying lawyers have had enough time, the judge ordered the litigation to proceed and set Friday as a deadline for filing papers on whether to certify the case as a class-action lawsuit. Ford spokeswoman Jennifer Flake said it would be premature to comment on Sear’s ruling because the case is still before the court. Attorneys for the Bronco II owners are negotiating with Ford on a modified agreement that will be presented to the judge in the next few days, said Richard Freeze, a Birmingham, Ala., attorney representing owners.


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