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Ford Hammered By Investors Over $2 Bil Judgment

Ohio Court rules against maker in commercial truck class action suit.

by on Jun.13, 2011

Ford could be facing a $2 billion payout to its heavy truck dealers due to a verdict in a long-running lawsuit.

Ford Motor Co. is being hammered twice as the result of a judgment on a class action lawsuit filed by a group of commercial truck dealers.

An Ohio court has ruled that the automaker will have to pay $2 billion for allegedly failing to give all those dealers the same price concessions, over more than a decade, as required by their contract.  As many as 3,000 U.S. Ford dealers could stand to gain substantial reimbursements that include years of interest charges.

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In all, the verdict could cost the suburban Detroit maker as much as $2 billion, if the judgment stands – though Ford has vowed to appeal and believe it will be able to get the verdict set aside.  But nervous investors, who have already driven the stock down sharply since it hit a mid-winter peak, reacted with concern.  In the minutes before the market closed on Monday, Ford shares were off more than 2%, hovering barely above the $13 mark.