Today, Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Judge Peter J. Corrigan ordered Ford Motor Company to pay a total of $1,984,590,150 in damages to more than 3,000 Ford dealers based on a jury’s determination that Ford over-charged the dealers for commercial trucks purchased over an 11-year period in violation of the company’s dealer agreements. In a 10-page Decision and Order, the court denied Ford’s request to throw out a jury verdict returned on February 11, 2011 in favor of Westgate Ford Truck Sales, Inc., a Youngstown truck dealer. The court also rejected Ford’s challenge to an earlier decision allowing the lawsuit to proceed as a class action with Westgate acting as the dealers’ representative.
“We are pleased that the court and a unanimous jury agreed that Ford’s pricing program violated our contractual rights by systematically over-charging the dealers who purchased medium and heavy trucks. In awarding the dealers the amount of money they overpaid for trucks, the jury verdict places Westgate and the rest of the dealers in the financial position contemplated by the terms of the contract,” said James Lowe, who represented Westgate Ford in the matter.
The dealers’ lawsuit is captioned Westgate Ford Truck Sales, Inc. v. Ford Motor Company, case no. CV-02-483526, Court of Common Pleas, Cuyahoga County, Ohio. The Westgate case is the culmination of a long-running dispute between Ford and its dealers concerning Ford’s operation of a now defunct wholesale price-discount system known as the CPA program. Internal Ford documents and the testimony of Ford managers reveal that Ford designed and used the CPA program as a tool to shift retail revenue from the dealers to Ford. Previous litigation over the program resulted in a finding of liability against Ford in favor of a single dealer in Texas state court and the confidential settlement of a suit brought by 5 dealers in a Georgia federal court.
Counsel for the Plaintiffs:
James A. Lowe, [site_name], Cleveland, OH
Robert M. Foote, Foote Meyers Mielke & Flowers, Chicago, IL
John A. Corr, The Corr Law Firm, Collegeville, PA
Stephen A. Corr, Mellon, Webster & Shelly, Doylestown, PA
James A. Pikl, Scheef & Stone, Frisco, TX
Thomas E. Mellon, Jr., Mellon, Webster & Shelly, Doylestown, PA
You may be interested in reading other news reports about this announcement:
Cleveland Plain Dealer -- Ford hit with $2 billion judgment in class action suit by truck dealers
Bloomberg Businessweek -- Ford to Appeal Judge’s $2 Billion Award to Truck Dealers
New York Times – Truck Dealers Win $2 Billion in Ford Suit