Justices won't help NJ court in Ford van case

LANSING (AP) -- A federal court in New Jersey has asked for advice from the Michigan Supreme Court on how to interpret Michigan law. The reply: No.

A majority on the court has declined to get involved in a lawsuit against Ford Motor Co. The New Jersey court wants to know if Ford could be liable for financial damages when an E-350 van owner removes a seat to avoid a possible rollover.

A Detroit church says it's not getting full use of the van. It's one of many plaintiffs suing Ford over the vehicle. The cases have been consolidated in New Jersey.

Three conservatives on the Michigan Supreme Court want to offer an opinion, but fellow conservative Chief Justice Robert Young Jr. won't join them. Justice Stephen Markman says it's a major mistake.

Published: Tue, Apr 12, 2011