Verdict against Ford in death of a boy run over by truck with defective parking brake. The then-second largest product liability verdict in the nation. (White) (Jury awarded $52 million in retrial of punitive damages.)
Guardrails are supposed to protect drivers when a car veers off a roadway, but in some cases defective guardrails – specifically the ends of the metal structures -- have caused injury and death to a vehicle’s drivers and passengers.
When a car or truck strikes the end terminal of a guardrail head-on, the guardrail is supposed absorb the energy from the vehicle by collapsing into itself or by coiling away. But in many accidents across the country, guardrails have failed and instead served as giant spears, moving into and through vehicles. Occupants have been impaled and killed or had limbs severed in such occurrences.
If you or a loved suffered severe injury as the result of a suspected defective guardrail, you may have grounds for a lawsuit. Kline & Specter, PC, with more than 40 attorneys, has the experience and expertise to pursue such product liability cases. Call us for a free consultation.
Many of the faulty guardrails have been banned for new installations – at last count by 42 states – but many still exist on highways across the nation.
In a highly publicized case, a jury in a whistleblower lawsuit awarded $175 million against Trinity Industries for making a critical change in its ET-Plus guardrail system and failing to inform federal regulators as required. A federal judge tripled the award to $525 million and ordered the company to pay another $138 million in civil penalties.
According to news reports, Trinity shaved off one inch of metal from its end terminals, which would save money. Company officials denied the change was a money-saving move.
In other accidents, serious injury or death may have been caused by guardrails that were outdated, failing to employ current safety technology, or installed improperly.
Kline & Specter represents people who suffered serious injury in accidents involving guardrails that were defective, outdated or improperly installed. Contact us through this website or by calling us at 215-772-1000.