Due to a tire separation a truck driver was paralyzed and suffered numerous other injuries in a serious truck accident that was caused by a defective product. The issue was liability for the damage to the tire and for the ensuing crash of the cement truck.
While driving to a job, the front steer tire of a full cement truck experienced a tread separation and loss of air. Due to the tire tread separation, the truck pulled to the right and slammed into an embankment. Among the truck driver’s many injuries was paralysis – quadriplegia. Other injuries included:
- 12 fractured ribs
- 3 fractured vertebrae
- Arm fracture
- Ruptured spleen
- Collapsed lung
- Brain Injury (TBI)
- Permanent spinal cord injury causing quadriplegia
The Issue: The Integrity of the Tire
During the trial, plaintiff’s (truck driver) attorney argued that the tire was improperly manufactured. In explaining how the defect in the tire caused the accident, the attorney explained that the adhesion between the internal components of the tire and the tread. He also pointed out that the inner liner of the tire was of proper thickness to prevent the air from permeating the other rubber parts of the tire. The result of this product defect was that it caused significant early wear on those tire components. Evidence presented during the trial demonstrated that the tire tread was well within its normal limits for use safely at the time of the crash.
Defense attorney, defending the company that manufactured the tire, argued that the tire was not defective. The attorney introduced the company’s quality assurance process as part of the argument that the tire was not defective. The defendant claimed that the real cause of the tread separation was an impact with some unknown object that occurred some 200 miles prior to the truck accident.
Plaintiff and his attorney presented medical bills up to the time of the trial, which were $2.1 million. A care expert testified that (when reduced to current value) the plaintiff’s future cost of care would be $6.1 million. Plaintiff’s previous lost wages and loss of future wages was also introduced during the trial. The defense team did not contradict or introduce contrary calculations as to the plaintiff’s costs.
After the five-day trial, the jury deliberated for approximately 6 hours. They returned with a judgment for the plaintiff in the amount of $37,835,259.23.
There have been a number of cases over the years of tires separating due to manufacturing defects. Some of these cases were filed individually (as was this case), and some have been filed as part of a class action suit. In this case, the task of the plaintiff’s team was to demonstrate that the tire was defective and that its failure caused the crash. Thus, rather than a truck accident case, this was a products liability case, concerning the manufacturer’s liability for production and sale of a defective tire.
Many types of products are defective or dangerous. Products liability cases of this sort uncover the nature of the defect and/or danger of the product. The plaintiff’s attorney must then present a connection between the plaintiff’s injuries and the failure of the product. People are hurt every day because of dangerous or defective products. It is important that everyone be attentive to recalls for products they have purchased. Yet in some cases, people are injured before a recall is issued.
Call Altizer Law, P.C.
If you or a loved one has been injured due a damaged or defective product that caused harm, you may be able to file a legal case to recover damages from that harm. When you need a products liability attorney, call Altizer Law, P.C., for aggressive and relentless pursuit for your rights and the highest possible settlement or judgment for your hurts and harms. Bettina Altizer has been representing clients in products liability cases very successfully for more than 25 years.