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Friday, July 29, 2011

Ford gets caught lying again...

The question really is after getting caught time and time again why is no one in Jail? It is past time for the Department of Justice to get involved here and put some of these lying bastards in Jail. How many people have to die before we do something? Is a family member of yours next?


Judge Finds Ford Fraudulently Concealed Electronic Causes of Unintended Acceleration

The Senior Judge of the Florida’s Fifth Judicial Circuit has set aside a jury verdict in favor of Ford Motor Company, blasting the automaker for defrauding the court and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration by claiming that it knew of no other cause of unintended acceleration than driver error and for concealing years of testing that showed that electromagnetic interference was a frequent root cause of UA in Ford vehicles.
In his withering decision, Senior Judge William T. Swigert of the Fifth Judicial Circuit in Sumter County, Florida ordered a new trial in which the jury would only consider compensatory and punitive damages in Stimpson v. Ford. The post-trial order is a victory for Attorney Thomas J. Murray, of Murray & Murray based in Sandusky, Ohio, who represented the Stimpson family.
The case concerned an October 28, 2003 crash which left Peggy Stimpson permanently paralyzed. Her husband alleged that he was unable to stop the couple’s 1991 Ford Aerostar, when it suddenly accelerated from their carport as he put the van into gear. The Aerostar hurtled more than 100 feet, and crashed into a utility pole.
In his 51-page decision, Judge Swigert excoriated Ford for systematically concealing a long history, stretching back to the 1970s, of studying the problem of electromagnetic interference and unintended acceleration, working to resolve it, but nonetheless finding many instances of it in the real world. Swigert enumerated each step Ford took in achieving a high level of corporate malfeasance – among them, lying to NHTSA, systematically destroying field technical reports that identified electromagnetic interference with the cruise control servo as a cause of unintended acceleration and misleading its own experts, who have repeatedly testified in other cases that driver error had to be the cause of such events.
“The proofs introduced at trial include various patents owned by Ford showing that electronic malfunctions in the cruise control system can cause sudden, unintended acceleration, in addition to reports from Ford’s engineers, including SIRs and CQIS reports, diagnosing sudden acceleration as a problem with the cruise control system. Ford’s Ishikawa engineering diagram likewise shows that EMI is a cause of sudden unintended acceleration.”
Swigert’s decision also rapped Ford’s Counsel J. Randolph Bibb for accusing the Stimpson’s attorney of lying and withholding the results of expert witness tests conducted to show what caused the tire marks left by the Stimpson’s Aerostar as it rocketed out of the carport. Both sides agreed that testimony regarding the tests would not be introduced, since they had not been recorded. But at trial, Ford’s attorney brought them up in a cross-examination and in his closing arguments, suggesting that the results had been withheld from the jury because they were unfavorable to the Stimpsons’ theory of the case.
We will recount the history of Ford’s concealment in all of its ignominious detail in a future blog post, and its implications for the much-relied-upon conclusions of the1989 An Examination of Sudden Acceleration, known within NHTSA as “The Silver Book.” Manufacturers, such as Ford, have been waving this tome in front of juries in UA cases, as proof positive of driver error. Judge Swigert, weighing it against Ford’s knowledge of electronic causes of unintended acceleration, as sketched by the internal documents and Ford employee testimony that the plaintiffs introduced at trial, was not impressed. He found it was based on false information and untested assumptions, for which no empirical evidence existed.
Stimpson V. Ford:  Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Memorandum Decision
Stimpson V. Ford: Order on Plaintiffs’ Motion for Relief from Judgement, Partial Final Judgement in Favor of Plaintiffs on Liability, and Order Conditionally Granting New Trial.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Wall Street uses Walmart ruling to batter screwed investors

Injustice of the week, easy here. Well you can't say I didn't warn you. decsions have consequences and if you find a way to screw the average guy or "little people" like they call them you can count of Goldman Sachs and Krew to take full advantage of it, 100% of the time.  as Joe the slummer says "Economic slavery is a bitch man." 



Walmart Supreme Court Ruling Being Used By Wall Street To Battle Investors Over Losses

Walmart Ruling

WILMINGTON (Tom Hals) - The U.S. Supreme Court's dismissal of a massive sex-bias case against Wal-Mart Stores Inc may have handed Wall Street a new weapon in its battle against angry investors who lost billions on securitized home loans.
At first glance, last month's ruling in the Wal-Mart case may seem far removed from lawsuits over complex mortgage investments blamed for helping to trigger the global financial crisis in 2008.
But attorneys are seizing on the Supreme Court decision as they fight to prevent pension fund investors from banding together as a class to pursue claims they were misled about bonds built from flimsy mortgages.
In the Wal-Mart case, the Supreme Court on June 20 found that 1 million current and former female employees from 3,400 of the retailer's stores had too little in common to form a class. The court's language about issues of a "common question" could, according to attorneys arguing for the banks, also bar mortgage bond investors from suing en masse.
Lawyers defending a unit of Washington Mutual argue that the "commonality" that was missing among the female Wal-Mart workers is also missing among investors in securitized mortgages, even when they invested in the same pool of loans.
They made the argument in court papers filed on June 22 arguing against certifying a class of investor plaintiffs suing Washington Mutual. The case is pending in U.S. District Court in Seattle.
If successful, the defense tactic could prevent investors in mortgage-backed securities from pooling their resources and bringing a case as a group. That could make it more difficult for them to pursue cases against big issuers of mortgage bonds, such as Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase & Co.
The Washington Mutual legal team referred questions to JPMorgan, which bought the bank in 2008. JPMorgan did not immediately return a call for comment on Friday.
The Wal-Mart case was closely watched and the ruling is expected to make it tougher to bring class-action cases, which are often used in drug and product liability lawsuits and have led to mammoth settlements with consumers or shareholders.
The Supreme Court decision steers courts away from certifying broad classes of plaintiffs while leaving the door open to breaking out sub-classes later, said James Cox, a professor at Duke University Law School.
In the mortgage market, banks securitized home loans by collecting large pools of mortgages and placing them with a trust. The trust then issued bonds cut into "tranches," each carrying a different credit rating. The higher-rated tranches were paid first from the money flowing from homeowners.
Courts already have denied class status to investors who sued on behalf of all others who bought bonds issued by different trusts that were set up by a particular bank or mortgage company, such as Countrywide Financial.
The Supreme Court's Wal-Mart decision may help narrow the class scope further, separating tranches within a particular loan pool trust.
In their court papers, Washington Mutual lawyers cite the Wal-Mart decision for their argument that each tranche of the mortgage-backed security needs to be analyzed separately to determine which loans back which tranche, and whether those loans were properly written.
"Even if plaintiffs seek to ask the same question across all loan groups and all securities, unless they can be assured of getting the same answer, no class can be certified," the court filing says.
The Wal-Mart ruling is the first case cited in Washington Mutual's argument. The company's lawyers also cite the decision to make their point that each tranche must be evaluated separately, not lumped together merely because they have common legal claims, according to the court papers.
Thomas Hatch, an attorney who has brought mortgage-backed securities cases but is not involved in the Washington Mutual lawsuit, said courts are right to narrow classes to a single trust, but he disagreed with cutting to the tranche level.
"The defendants are wrong in claiming you have to be in the same tranche to be in the same class," said Hatch, because those various slices of the bond rely on the same offering document. "It isn't tranche specific, it is trust specific."
The Seattle federal court will take up the Washington Mutual class certification issue on July 27.
The case is In re Washington Mutual Mortgage Backed Securities Litigation; U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington, No. 09-00037
(Editing by Martha Graybow, Gary Hill)