Earlier last month, Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. settled a lawsuit that was brought against it by a man who was paralyzed after he was involved in an accident that he alleged was caused by one of Cooper’s tires exploding. According to a news source covering the case, the settlement was reached during the second day of the trial, after several pre-trial motions had been argued and decided by the judge. The exact terms of the settlement agreement have not been disclosed.
The Facts of the Case
Evidently, the man was riding as a passenger in a minivan in New Jersey when the accident occurred. The minivan was traveling on the highway when the rear left tire exploded, causing the vehicle to get into a serious crash. At some point in the immediate aftermath of the collision, the plaintiff was ejected from the vehicle. He was not wearing a seatbelt. As a result of the injuries he sustained, he was permanently paralyzed in both his legs.
The injured man filed suit against Cooper Tire & Rubber, alleging that they negligently manufactured the tires, and this is what caused his injuries. Specifically, the plaintiff claimed that the manufacturer failed to use “belt-edge gum strips,” which have been shown to reduce the instances of tread separation.
The plaintiff also submitted evidence that Cooper Tire & Rubber knew that the specific tires on the minivan were susceptible to problems, including tread separation. In fact, other tires manufactured at the same time as the tires at issue included safety features not included on tires on the minivan.
Product Liability Based on a Dangerous Product
Product liability is the legal term used to describe the liability of manufacturers of negligently designed or manufactured products when someone is injured by their products. There are several kinds of product liability claims, including negligent design of a product, negligent manufacture of a product, and failure to warn about a dangerous product or component.
The elements that a plaintiff will be required to prove in order to be successful will depend on the specific type of claim they are asserting. Indeed, in some cases a plaintiff may have multiple claims against one manufacturer. Another interesting aspect of product liability law is that, in some cases, any person or business in the distribution chain of the product may be held liable, not just the manufacturer.
Have You Been Injured by a Dangerous Product?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured due to a negligently designed or manufactured product, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. These claims can be complex and are best left to an experienced personal injury attorney. In many cases, an expert witness will be necessary to explain to the judge or jury why the product was particularly dangerous, or what the standards are in the industry. To learn more about product liability claims in New Mexico, call the Fine Law Firm to set up a free consultation at 505-889-FINE. Calling is free and will result in no obligation to you unless we can recover in your case.
More Blog Posts:
State Supreme Court Permits Trial Judge Ability to Adjust Verdict When Jury’s Damages Award “Shockingly” Low, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, October 14, 2015.
Supreme Court of Texas Remands Case After Finding that Spectating a Sporting Event is Not Considered “Recreation” Under Relevant Statute, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, October 7, 2015.