January 8, 2001 – Exploding Tires And Disappearing Airlines – The Ford-Bridgestone Trial – The TWA Bankruptcy
January 8, 2001 – Eight days into the new year and the world was awash with lawsuits, accusations, bankruptcies and finger-pointing. Starting with President-Elect George Bush‘s choice of Linda Chavez for Secretary of Labor despite accusations she hired an illegal alien from Guatemala as live-in maid. Bush tried to stay on course, but this was the first speed-bump leading up to the Bush inauguration. Another nominee for a cabinet position, Christie Todd Whitman was also accused of hiring an illegal couple to work for them. Bush was asked at a Press conference if he had plans to pardon out-going President Bill Clinton over his scandal. Bush replied there was no point in pardoning someone who hadn’t been indicted for anything. Clinton repeatedly told spokespersons that he was not looking for a pardon, in fact he doubted one would be offered.
Meanwhile, Ford and Bridgestone/Firestone agreed to an out-of-court settlement in the highly-publicized rollover case involving a Ford Explorer spun out of control, flipping and rolling over after the tread on one of its tires came off. Passenger Donna Bailey of Texas was paralyzed from the neck down because of the accident. She sued for $100 million. The amount of the settlement wasn’t disclosed, Ford also apologized for the incident which Bailey accepted, saying it sounded like they were ‘very sincere’. Ford was considering a wider recall. The tires in question were not part of the initial recall of some half-million tires the previous summer.
And TWA, the worlds oldest name in U.S. Aviation was heading to extinction by the end of this week. Reportedly, American Airlines was poised to take over TWA as soon as it filed for bankruptcy. Fears were expressed that the disappearance of yet another major airline would mean a jacking-up of already pricey airline tickets. Deregulation at work.
And that’s a small taste of what went on, this January 8, 2001 as reported by The CBS World News Roundup: Late Edition.