A U.S. District Court judge in New Jersey has certified a national class and conditionally approved a $236 million settlement between The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company and owners and former owners of property where Entran II radiant heating or
snow melting hose was installed.
A fairness hearing will be scheduled to review the terms of the settlement.
Goodyear has agreed to contribute $76 million to a settlement fund over the next five years and could add a total of $40 million in contingency payments, if certain performance goals are met, during 2004 through 2007. The settlement is conditional on the receipt of certain insurance proceeds and adequate property owner participation.
Goodyear expects the plaintiffs’ attorneys to seek similar approval of the
class settlement in Canadian courts, in the near future. Property owners in
six New England states are not currently part of the settlement class, pending an Oct. 24 hearing.
The settlement arose out of a mediation conducted by Judge Layn Phillips, a retired federal judge.
The proposed settlement does not include property owners with jury verdicts under appeal by Goodyear. The national settlement class currently includes property owners in Colorado and New Mexico. However, a Colorado state court judge has prevented the company from taking any further steps until the end of this month that would affect the rights of Colorado property
owners. A similar motion, filed in a state court on behalf of New Mexico property owners, is still pending.
A hearing before the U.S. District Court in New Jersey is also scheduled for Oct. 24 to review whether the state court activities are interfering with the national settlement agreement.
Goodyear supplied the hose product from 1989-1993 to Chiles Power Supply, Inc. (d/b/a Heatway Systems), a designer and seller of hydronic radiantheating systems. Goodyear believes that the Entran II hose is not defectiveand is vigorously defending the remaining Entran II legal actions.
Certain information contained in this press release constitutes forward- looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements as a result of various economic, financial and industry factors including without
limitation the company’s ability to implement its cost-cutting plans and achieve its sales targets. Additional factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements are discussed in the company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the company’s Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2002, and Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2003. In addition, any
forward-looking statements represent our estimates only as of today and should
not be relied upon as representing our estimates as of any subsequent date.
In addition, the proposed settlement referenced in this news release is
subject to various contingencies, including the ability of the company to
obtain sufficient funding from its insurance carriers, the result of a
fairness hearing to be held on the terms of the settlement, and the outcome of
legal proceedings in jurisdictions other than the jurisdiction in which the
proposed settlement is being addressed.
As a result of these contingencies, no assurance can be given as to whether or not the proposed settlement will be finally approved or as to the scope of potential plaintiffs to be covered by any finally approved settlement. While we may elect to update forward-looking
statements at some point in the future, we specifically disclaim anyobligation to do so, even if our estimates change.