Badly Injured Virginia Trucker was Awarded $37 Million Over Tire Failure
When commercial trucks are involved in accidents, the victim is often the driver or passenger in a car or an SUV. But truckers get hurt too and the consequences can be very serious. In a recent case near Richmond, a badly injured Virginia trucker was awarded $37 million by a jury when a tire failed on his cement mixer.
Virginia Lawyers Weekly reported the driver was employed by Essex Concrete. In November 2014, he was driving a fully-loaded cement mixed to a delivery site. As he headed north on Route 288, a right front tire on his cement truck experienced a catastrophic tread separation.
The incident forced the heavy cement truck to veer to the right and hit an embankment. The trucker suffered horrendous injuries. They included fractures to 12 ribs, his arm, three vertebrae, a ruptured spleen and a collapsed lung. He also sustained a brain injury and a permanent spinal cord that resulted him becoming a quadriplegic.
These are some of the worst injuries that can occur in a traffic accident short of death. Spinal and brain injuries of this nature destroy your quality of life.
In the wake of this accident, the badly injured Virginia trucker’s legal team built up a case against the tire manufacturer, Hankook Tire Company, Ltd. The South Korean company’s tires are distributed in the United States by its domestic subsidiary, Hankook Tire America Corporation.
Injury lawyers acting for the trucker claimed the tire was defectively manufactured. They highlighted incomplete adhesion between the internal components of the tire. Additionally, the tire’s inner liner was too thin to stop excessive air permeation into other rubber components of the tire, they argued.
The net effect of the defect was the deterioration of the tire over time. Evidence presented at trial revealed the tire was still within its useful tread life at the time the tread separated.
Lawyers acting for the tire company claimed the tire was not defective and had been well manufactured. The company’s attorneys claimed the tire suffered an impact with an unknown object 200 miles before it failed on Nov. 14, 2014.
The jury at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in Richmond heard the trucker’s medical bills were just under $2.1 million. His legal team presented evidence his future medical needs would climb to $6.1 million.
Experts at the trial said the trucker’s lost past and future earnings would total about $675,000. The defendants offered no contradicting evidence on the issue of damages. They did not cross-examine any of plaintiff’s damages witnesses.
A jury awarded $37.8 million to the injured trucker after a five-day trial and six hours of deliberations, reported Virginia Lawyers Weekly. The lawyers representing the badly injured Virginia trucker were Jonathan E. Halperin, Isaac A McBeth and Andrew Lucchetti of Glen Allen in Virginia and Jay Halpern of Coral Gables, Florida.
This case highlighted how defective products such as tires can cause horrific injuries.
Badly Injured Virginia Trucker Cause Highlights Defective Products
Product liability can arise from a defect in the design or a product. Or a product may be acceptable but was not designed to its manufacturer’s specification. In some cases, such as with dangerous drugs, a failure to warn of potential consequences can lead to a product liability lawsuit.
Tires and defects on cars have resulted in some massive recalls and serious injuries and deaths.
In 2014, it was revealed that several General Motors car models were manufactured with faulty ignition switches that could shut off the car’s engine during driving, disable its power steering and brakes, and prevent airbags from inflating. Attorney Ken Feinberg was appointed by the carmaker to handle an extensive GM compensation case. He linked the defects to 125 traffic deaths and 275 injuries.
Since awards more made, other deaths have been linked with the GM ignition failure.
In 2000, the tire manufacturer Firestone recalled 6.5 million tires amid reports of tire separations linked to at least 119 deaths.
Reports to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration claimed Firestone treads peeled off their casings, sometimes while SUVs were traveling at high speeds.
Tires are one of the most important components on a car, truck or a motorcycle. Tire failure can cause horrendous injuries and deaths. If you have been injured by a defective tire, please call Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers at (757) 455-0077.