Ohio Court Reverses $2 Billion award against Ford image

US based automaker Ford Motor Co. (F) won yesterday a reversal of a $2 billion verdict and ordered a new trial for a class of commercial-truck dealers who claimed the automaker overcharged them for 11 years.

The state appeals court in Cleveland found Thursday that the trial judge improperly excluded evidence presented by Ford. The dealers can request that the Ohio Supreme Court review the ruling.

“We look forward to trying the case before a jury that will be able to consider all the evidence that was improperly excluded in the first trial, ” Marcey Evans, a Ford spokeswoman, told Bloomberg in an interview.

James Lowe, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, declined to comment to Bloomberg.

Dealers had claimed Ford was bound by contract to give all dealers the same discounts on trucks. The size of the settlement was huge, in part because the lawsuit, which was filed in 2001, covered the 10 years between 1987 and 1997.

The case involved more than 3,000 dealerships around the country and about 474,000 trucks.

A single dealer won a $4.5 million judgment in February 2011 and then an Ohio trial court allowed for the lawsuit to become a class action, applying to any dealers that sold Ford F-series 600 or higher models between 1987 and 1997.