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Ohio court: Judge erred in $2B award against Ford

Associated Press Modified: May 4, 2012 at 7:30 pm •  Published: May 4, 2012
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CLEVELAND (AP) — An appeals court this week has reversed a decision ordering Ford Motor Co. to pay nearly $2 billion in damages to thousands of commercial truck dealerships, sending the case back to the lower courts for a new trial.

The decision Thursday by the 8th Ohio Court of Appeals overturned last year's ruling that said the automaker had violated dealer agreements and overcharged for commercial trucks over an 11-year period. It determined that a trial judge in Cleveland had abused his discretion in excluding possible evidence in Ford's favor.

The appeals court called the contract in question "ambiguous" and said it can be interpreted in different ways. It said a jury, which originally only heard certain arguments because some were excluded, should have heard all key arguments in the case.

The appeals court also ruled that Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Peter Corrigan erred in not allowing Ford attorneys to challenge expert testimony from the plaintiffs when it was determining damages in the case.

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