Wednesday, October 29, 2014

So now lawyers do not have to be ambulance chasers anymore to get clients. Clients are now half dead all over American highways because of faulty guard rails. A landmark legal decision over a hidden hazard all over America’s common roadways in the form of guardrails has been made. It is a major case where victims alleging that design flaws in the rails maims and kills people. The verdict came in after a growing number of law suits came in where highway guardrails that are meant to protect instead killed or almost killed an alarming amount of people in accidents.

People who have been hitting guardrails during accidents find that the metal can be a long steel rail that is slicing through SUV’s and other types of vehicles on the road like a thick sharp spear. People are loosing lives and limbs from the very things that were supposed to protect motorists on the road. Guardrails are not supposed to be spears. In test films from as far back as 15 years ago, it shows how a guardrail is supposed to absorb the impact and even in a head on crash at 60 miles per hour, is supposed to absorb the impact. The truck hits what is called the end terminal and the guardrail curls off to the side and does not spear the truck. What  went wrong since those safety videos from as far back as 15 years ago?

Lots of people from across the country are suing the manufacturer of American guardrails and has finally won a landmark decision against Trinity Industries of Texas, the maker of all guardrails. The law suit was based on the question of if this manufacturer hid a defect in its guardrails for years? There are half a million of possibly default  guardrails on America’s highways today. The major lawsuit was brought by a competitor of Trinity Industries, Joshua Harman who says the company tried to save money by quietly making a small change in the construction of the guard rail reducing the width of it by an inch from 5 inches to 4 inches in the original design of its main beam which he testified made a significant flaw. Inches do count.

That loss of an inch in the width of the main beam makes it a completely different product. There are real life examples all over American roads of failed guardrails not stopping the impact of a crash but spearing through a motorist’s car.  Despite the growing evidence of gruesome accidents , Trinity tried to defend their modified product as still being a safety help on the roads. At first officials accepted Trinities defense by saying that the new version meets federal safety standards. Recently Joshua sued again with new evidence.

He had information that Trinity engineers concluded that they would save a quarter million dollars over five years and then discussed keeping the change a secret with no announcement. That one inch change should have been reported to the Federal Highway Administration and was not disclosed ever. Failed crash tests were seen during the trial but also were never turned over to the Federal government. The company President, Greg Mitchell refuses to comment on any allegations discussed in court. After just three hours of deliberation, the jury came back with the verdict. They awarded $175 Million dollars and a finding that the company made false statements to the government.

Three states so far, Nevada, Massachusetts and Missouri have stopped using the guardrails and more states are to follow. Under the law for cases of this type, the $175 Million dollar verdict will be tripled and then more damages could be added on top of that ultimately possibly reaching a Billion dollars and that is before additional lawsuits. So, keep away from those deadly guardrails and if you have been injured because of them go chase a lawyer.

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