Once again, the Nevada Supreme Court has rejected attempts by Goodyear
to overturn a $32.2 million defective tire verdict against it in the wrongful
case filed by the surviving family members of three people killed in a
2004 Utah 15-passenger van crash. The plaintiffs have said that the deadly
auto accident was caused by a tire blowout that caused the vehicle to
overturn on I-70.
Killed in the Utah rollover accident were Andres Torres, Evangelina Tapia,
and Frank Enriquez. Seven other people were injured in the collision.
Last year, the state’s highest court upheld the $32.2 million Nevada
wrongful death lawsuit against Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. Other
defendants in the products liability case, Valley View Hitch and Truck
Rental and Ford Motor Co., settled their auto products liability lawsuits
prior to the civil trial.
Following the judgment, Goodyear then sought to argue that it was not
given due process. A district judge had taken away Goodyear’s ability
to defend itself against the civil complaint after finding that its attorneys
took part in stall tactics and acted in bad faith. Without hearing the
facts of the case, the jury was told to determine damages. Now, the Nevada
Supreme Court is refusing to review its earlier decision to uphold the
jury’s tire blowout judgment.
Goodyear Defective Tire Lawsuits
Goodyear is also the defendant in other tire tread separation complaints
related to its Load Range “E” tires that are used on pickup
trucks, sport utility vehicles, and vans. Dozens of defective tire lawsuits
have been reportedly filed over these Goodyear tires, which were manufactured
between 1991 and 2000. According to
ABC News, 15,000 of these tires experienced tread separation between 1991 and 2001
alone. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says there were
reports of 87 auto crashes involving these tires during this time period,
with 50% of the collisions causing at least 158 injuries and 18 deaths.
Tread separation is a common cause of tire blowouts and rollovers. Vehicles
with high gravity centers, such as SUVs, and 15-passenger vans, are at
high risk of rolling over in the event that tread separation should cause
a driver to lose control of the auto. Tire manufacturing and design defects
are two common causes of tread separation.
$30 million verdict: Nevada Supreme Court denies Goodyear’s petition
for rehearing, LV Legal News, December 31, 2010
Goodyear Tires Draw Lawsuits, No Recall, Good Morning America/ABC News, May 19, 2010
$32 Million Defective Tire Judgment Against Goodyear Upheld, Product Liability Law Blog, July 10, 2010
Related Web Resources: Goodyear Tires Tire Defects, SaferCars.gov
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration