Imagine you're driving along a stretch of the Texas interstate or highway system when all of a sudden you feel a shimmy and vibration from the wheels. The tires are relatively new, so you figure maybe the balance has been thrown off. After a lot of frustrating interaction with tire dealers and the manufacturer, the conclusion is that you must have hit a pothole.
About the only good thing to come out of a situation like that is the fact that no accident occurred and no one was hurt or killed as a result of the failure of a faulty auto product. Unfortunately, that is not always how things play out.
When a defective product is suspected of being the cause of a crash and evidence indicates the suspicion is legitimate, the manufacturer should expect to be held accountable. But it's not action the company is likely to let go unchallenged. The nature of the outcome for the plaintiff in such cases may depend on the experience of the attorney pressing the case.
An example of just such a case is working its way through a court in Marshall right now. Members of a family who survived a deadly accident on Interstate 20 are suing the manufacturer of the tires that were on their vehicle. The claim is that a defective tire caused the tread to separate from its base, causing the driver to lose control.
The reported result was that the vehicle left the road, rolled over and struck a road sign. All 12 people in the vehicle were apparently injured, five fatally. The suit accuses the tire company of being strictly liable and negligent.
Not unexpectedly, the tire maker has responded saying that the tire in question complied with federal standards and that any problem with it was the result of some third party.
The suit seeks compensation for wrongful deaths and personal injury damages. It also makes a claim for bystander damages on the argument that survivors of the crash had to witness the deaths of their loved ones.