Goodyear Wins Dismissal of Suit Over French Plant Closing

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) won dismissal of a $4 million U.S. lawsuit by French workers challenging the shuttering of a plant in Amiens after a judge said the decision didn’t violate an employee bonus agreement.

Goodyear worker Mickael Wamen and an employees’ representative council claimed the company breached its promises under the production bonus pact by directing a decrease in plant output. The workers sought class action, or group status for all employees of the Amiens North facility who worked there since January 2009. They sought damages of about $4 million.

The lawsuit was filed last year in Ohio state court in Akron, where the tire maker is based. Goodyear had the case shifted to Akron federal court a month later.

“The amended complaint does not point to any provision of the bonus agreement that was breached,” U.S. District Judge Sara Lioi in Akron said yesterday, throwing out the case.

“The agreement, itself, does not guarantee any particular level of production, nor does it prohibit the downsizing of production,” she said. “In fact, the agreement does not even ensure that the plant will remain open for any period of time.”

Robert Gary, who represents the employees, didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment on the decision.

“This case was without merit,” Keith Price, a company spokesman, said in a telephone interview today.

The case is Wamen v. The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., 13-cv-1084, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio (Akron).

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Harris in federal court in Chicago at aharris16@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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