12-Year-Old Awarded $12 Million Tire Defect Verdict Against Michelin

A jury has awarded a 12-year-old boy a $12 million tire tread separation verdict for injuries he sustained in a 2006 New Years Eve auto accident in Mexico. Jesus Guzman, who was 10 at the time, is now paralyzed. The tire was a Goodrich tire made by Michelin & Cie.
The deadly motor vehicle accident happened outside Matamoros when one of the tires of a 2002 Ford F-250 pickup truck failed, causing the motor vehicle to swerve head on into a Chevrolet suburban. Everyone riding the SUV died—four of the casualties were under age 14. Loved ones who were riding in the pickup truck along with Guzman were injured.
According to the defective tire lawsuit involving injuries to a child, leaking roofs and broken air conditioners at a Michelin plant caused the tire maker’s machines to make defective tires that could likely fail. By issuing its $11.96 million verdict against Michelin for Guzman’s spinal cord injury, the Texas jury rejected the tire manufacturer’s claim that the Ford truck’s bumper had scraped off the top of the tire.
Tire Tread Separation
The treads of a tire (especially steel-belted radial tires) can become separated. Because the steel does not properly adhere to the tire, driving at high speeds or hot weather can cause the separation to happen. Tire tread separation is linked to design and manufacturing defects.
Tire tread separation can lead to tire blowouts that can cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle and drive off the road, into oncoming traffic, or roll over. SUV’s are especially prone to rollover crashes during a tire blowout.
The fallout from being involved in an auto accident caused by tire tread separation can be catastrophic.
Just last week, the six members of the Scotland Yard Gospel Choir were hurt during a van rollover crashthat was caused by what investigators believe was tire failure. Head trauma and broken bones were some of the injuries that the victims sustained.
Auto crashes that are a result of tire defects, including tire failure, tire tread separation, tire blowouts, and tire/rim explosions are preventable. This is one reason that a tire maker should be held liable for auto products liability. Car crashes can be deadly, which is why it is a tire manufacturer’s responsibility to make sure that their tires are free from defects that could cause a deadly motor vehicle accident.
Michelin Tire Tread Separation Lawsuit Results in $12M Verdict, AboutLawsuits, September 21, 2009
Michelin Loses $12 Million Verdict in Suit Over Crash, Bloomberg.com, September 10, 2009
Chicago’s Scotland Yard Gospel Choir injured in van accident, Chicago Sun-Times, September 25, 2009
Related Web Resources:
Tires, NHTSA
Consumer Reports

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