A Chicago judge has dismissed a lawsuit seeking more than half a billion dollars in damages from DaimlerChrysler AG for so called "noisy" engines. Plaintiffs' lawyers filed a class action in 1996 on behalf of 1.2 million owners of 1991 to 1995 Jeep Cherokees with 4.0-liter engines. After nine weeks of trial, Judge Thomas P. Durkin of the Illinois District Court, Chancery Division, ruled Oct. 20 that plaintiffs failed to prove their case. While their lawyers claimed "excessive noise," one of the plaintiffs representing the class testified that this "noise" was no louder than the "ticking of a clock." DaimlerChrysler Vice President and Associate General Counsel, Lewis H. Goldfarb, praised the verdict, noting "common sense prevailed in our legal system today."