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Ford/Firestone (John Doe v. Firestone)

Close to two decades ago, Ralph Patino was among the first U.S. attorneys to make a connection between defective Firestone tires and SUV-rollover accidents that were happening in Florida and in other parts of the U.S., as well as in other countries.

Mr. Patino and his legal team were able to prove that Firestone tires employed mostly on the popular Ford Explorer SUV model were defective and causing catastrophic injuries and deaths. As the evidence grew, Patino and Associates took on corporate giants Firestone and Ford, filing lawsuits on behalf of 30 Florida victims and their families — and winning multi-million-dollar settlements. Furthermore, the manufacturers issued an apology to each of the victims and their families.

Due to his pioneering work, Mr. Patino was chosen by his legal peers to co-chair the Ford Firestone Multi-District Litigation Financial Committee with oversight for approximately 300 consolidated personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits. This groundbreaking case prompted the recall of 6.5 million Firestone ATX and Wilderness AT tires after it was proven that these products were defective and endangering people’s lives.

Mr. Patino’s precedent-setting work in the Ford/Firestone case resulted in greater public awareness and prompted legislation protecting consumers against the dangers of tire tread separation and SUV rollover accidents.