Federal Court in Ohio to hear consolidated tire pricing cases

A federal judicial panel has determined that the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio is the proper venue for a newly consolidated multi-district litigation (MDL) accusing several major tire manufacturers of inflating the prices of replacement tires.

The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation approved the merger of 14 separate lawsuits on June 7, citing the advantages of centralized proceedings for efficiency and consistency in court decisions. The MDL will be chaired by Judge Sara Lioi, who has scheduled a case management conference for July 2.

The lawsuit filed by consumer plaintiffs accuses tire manufacturers, including Michelin North America Inc. and Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., engaging in a conspiracy to fix the price of replacement tires. The plaintiffs allege that this collusion resulted in inflated prices, harming consumers across the country.

Consolidation aims to streamline preparatory proceedings, reduce double investigations and prevent inconsistent judgments. It also facilitates the coordinated conduct of complex legal proceedings involving common issues of fact and law.

The pretrial proceedings will be overseen by Judge Lioi, who has experience in multidistrict litigation.