Posted: January 9, 2015

Trinity Industries, an industrial manufacturing company based in Dallas, has halted shipments of its ET-Plus highway guardrail system following reports of deaths and injuries over allegedly faulty design changes. A federal whistleblower recently charged Trinity with changing the design of its guardrail system without informing regulators until several years later. The whistleblower case led to a $175 million jury verdict that could be tripled by a federal judge. The design change was made to the end caps of the guardrail system. Critics say the change makes the guardrails not crumble as they are intended, but instead become spears that can impale vehicles and their passengers. Trinity Industries now faces a number of wrongful death and personal injury lawsuits. The Federal Highway Administration has told Trinity that unless a plan is submitted for new safety tests on the guardrail system it will lose eligibility for federal reimbursements. Thirteen states so far have banned installation of the ET-Plus guardrail system and many others have taken it off of their list of qualified products.