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Talalai v. Cooper Tire & Rubber Company

The class action lawsuit was filed in late 2000 on behalf of Cooper tire owners and alleged that manufacturing practices increased the possibility of tire and belt separations. Public Citizen represented two tire owners who objected to a proposed class action settlement. The objections explained that the proposal to provide free replacement tires would do little to ensure that the tires are safe and that the settlement gave Cooper too much latitude to decide which tires to replace. In addition, the alternative dispute resolution system for those who qualified for and did not want a replacement tire was too vague and did not adequately explain to tire owners what they should do or what relief they might recover. Similarly, the proposed consumer education program would be of little benefit to current or future Cooper tire owners. And the $30 million attorney fee award was grossly out of proportion to the remedy that would be afforded tire owners. Despite these objections, the court approved the proposed settlement.