Ford accuses plaintiffs of forum shopping by refiling dismissed lawsuit in Illinois.

Posted in News

Ford Fights 360-Degree Camera Lawsuit
Ford accuses plaintiffs of forum shopping by refiling dismissed lawsuit in Illinois.

— Ford is fighting a 360-degree camera lawsuit that was filed and voluntarily dismissed in Michigan, then refiled in Illinois.

According to the Ford 360-degree camera class action lawsuit, the camera systems have defects that cause "glitches, blue or black screens, and camera failures.”

Ford allegedly “fraudulently concealed” the alleged defects, and “fail[ed] to adequately recall and repair” the defect “despite the known safety risk.”

The 360-degree camera lawsuit includes these models.

  • 2020-2023 Ford Explorer
  • 2020-2023 Lincoln Aviator
  • 2020-2023 Lincoln Corsair

Ford recalled the Explorer, Lincoln Aviator and Lincoln Corsair for camera failures in September 2021, and in January 2023 those vehicles were recalled again following 17 reports of collisions.

And another 360-degree camera recall was announced in September 2023, this time a recall for Lincoln Aviator, Lincoln Navigator, Ford Transit and Ford Bronco vehicles.

The four plaintiffs have filed the class action lawsuit twice, the first filed a few months ago in the Eastern District of Michigan (Dorfman v. Ford).

Ford says this location makes sense because one of the four named plaintiffs resides in Michigan, "Ford’s principal place of business is Michigan, the material events giving rise to the claims occurred in Michigan, the complaint asserts claims under Michigan law, and Plaintiffs seek to certify a Michigan class."

But according to Ford, after the Michigan lawsuit was pending for a few weeks, the plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed it and refiled it in the Northern District of Illinois.

"This venue makes no sense: no party resides in Illinois, the complaint asserts no claims under Illinois law, and the complaint does not seek to certify an Illinois class." — Ford

Ford alleges the plaintiffs did this because they are "forum shopping."

Ten days after the plaintiffs filed their 360-degree class action in Michigan, a member of the class who resides in Washington state allegedly filed a copycat lawsuit in the Illinois court (Johnson v. Ford).

Ford alleges it moved to transfer the Johnson case to the Eastern District of Michigan so the two cases could be coordinated or consolidated, but the plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed their case in Michigan and refiled it in Illinois.

Ford told the judge, “evidence of forum-shopping supports transferring this case to the district that Plaintiffs originally chose and that has the strongest relationship with the parties, the claims, the witnesses, and the evidence: the Eastern District of Michigan."

The new Ford 360-degree camera class action lawsuit is allegedly nearly identical to the lawsuit which was filed in Michigan.

Ford says the new lawsuit does add local attorneys, but the automaker alleges, "the parties are the same, the claims are the same, the relief requested is the same, and the attorneys are the same."

However, the plaintiffs argue because the Dorfman lawsuit was changed from Michigan to Illinois, the two cases should be consolidated in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

The new Ford 360-degree camera lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois: Dorfman, et al., v. Ford Motor Company.

The plaintiffs are represented by the Miller Law Firm, P.C., and McCune Law Group.


Become a Fan & Spread the Word