U.S. Supreme Court nominee Samuel A. Alito ruled Monday that eight Ford Motor Company dealerships have the right to sue the automaker in a dispute stemming from a dealer-reward program.

The decision of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturns a previous judgment from a lower court that found the dealers hadn’t proved actual harm. Alito’s 13-page ruling found otherwise, supporting (but only just) the dealers’ contention that Ford’s Blue Oval Program (which promises dealers bonuses stemming from customer satisfaction ratings, sales, etc.) was not only expensive to meet the terms of, it took away control of certain processes necessary for business. In finding that Ford’s behavior is ‘redressable in court,’ Alito has cleared the way for the dealerships to pursue financial damages.

[Source: The Associated Press, via DFW Star-Telegram]


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