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Guardrail-part manufacturer faces litigation

Tennessee residents may be shocked to learn about the possible dangers of some roadway guardrail. It has been reported that at least 20 people have died in car accidents allegedly caused by faulty ET-Plus guardrail-end terminals, and about nine wrongful death and personal injury claims have been filed against the manufacturer, Trinity Industries, which is located in Dallas, Texas.

A man from Virginia who had past legal issues with Trinity has filed one of the lawsuits. The whistleblower suit claims that the company changed the design of the ET-Plus guardrail system sometime from 2002 to 2005 secretly and without the government’s consent. This compromised the quality of the guardrail, reducing its ability to absorb the energy of an oncoming vehicle. Reports suggest that the new design allows the guardrail to pierce through a vehicle if it is struck at a high speed.

A product-safety advocacy alliance called Safety Research and Strategies Inc. has also filed claims against Trinity, alleging that the ET-Plus guardrails have major performance problems. In the claims, SRS is attempting to obtain records associated with the ET-Plus from the Florida Department of Transportation and from the Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration.

One motorist claims that the company’s dangerous ET-Plus guardrail caused him to lose both of his legs in a car accident in January after the guardrail pierced through his car’s floorboard, impaling him and severing both his legs. Another driver suffered fractures, a bruised lung, and lower spine injuries after a collision with a guardrail that turned cut through his car. In such cases, an attorney may be able to help the injured victims hold the manufacturer liable for damages stemming from the accident. By filing a Deadly guardrails spearing drivers is whistleblower’s crusade”, Patrick G. Lee, June 15, 2014

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