A trip in a motorhome to a major theme park sounds like a wonderful getaway for families in Texas or elsewhere in the country. Certainly, a traveler in this type of vehicle wants to reach the destination safely and return home without incident. However, this goal becomes harder to reach when there are potentially defective products involved. An official investigation may finally be coming after two decades of settlements and attempts by a major company to keep documentation confidential.
In 2003, a family was traveling in a motorhome on the interstate when the tread came off its left front tire, causing the driver to lose control. After hitting a sign, sliding, then striking an embankment, several of the driver’s family members in the motorhome suffered broken bones. The driver was paralyzed as a result of the crash, then later passed away from the injuries. The family filed a lawsuit against Goodyear, the maker of the tire. The company has been accused of covering up several more deaths caused by defects in the tires.
Research claims that the tire model was built for vehicles that travel at lower speeds and should not have been installed on motorhomes. Court documents state that Goodyear knew this, yet kept selling the model for recreational vehicles. There have been over 40 lawsuits filed in the past 20 years against Goodyear, involving this tire. Most of the lawsuits were settled and the court documents sealed.
Recently, however, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration stated that it was examining the previously sealed documents. Some of the records show that the company knew that the tread issue with the tire could cause deaths and injuries. The family who experienced the accident in 2003 had accepted a settlement from Goodyear, as did others. Safety advocates want the sealed data made available to the public so that they are fully aware of the issue. There may be possible criminal investigation of the situation.
It is horrific to think that a company would knowingly keep defective products on the market, though they were the cause of death and injury. If someone has experienced this, a Texas personal injury attorney can help them pursue litigation against the company at fault. A successful personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit would provide families with compensation to offset medical or funeral expenses and possible award for grief and suffering.
Source: clevescene.com, “Investigation: Goodyear’s 20-Year Quest to Keep Details of Deaths and Settlements From the ‘Worst Tire Ever Made’ Secret“, Ryan Felton, March 21, 2018