The Hidden Dangers of Guardrails: A Look at Defective Design and Liability
Guardrails are designed to protect drivers and passengers from the danger of crashing into roadside hazards such as trees, utility poles, or steep drop-offs. However, in some cases, these safety devices have failed to perform as intended, leading to serious injuries or fatalities. As a result, there have been several lawsuits involving guardrails, with plaintiffs alleging that the guardrails were defective and that the manufacturers knew about the defects but failed to warn the public.
What are Guardrail Lawsuits?
Guardrail lawsuits typically involve claims that the guardrails were designed or manufactured in a way that made them more dangerous than they should have been, causing serious injuries or death. The plaintiffs in these lawsuits may argue that the guardrails were defective in some way, such as being too weak or having sharp edges that could pierce through vehicles.
In some cases, the lawsuits allege that the manufacturers knew about these defects but failed to disclose them or take appropriate steps to correct the problem. The plaintiffs may seek compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.
Recent Examples of Guardrail Lawsuits
One example of a guardrail lawsuit involves Trinity Industries, a manufacturer of guardrails used on highways across the United States. In 2014, a Texas jury found that Trinity had defrauded the federal government by making changes to its guardrail design without telling regulators. The changes, which involved shortening a metal component called the end terminal, were allegedly made to save money but resulted in a potentially dangerous design.
Following the verdict, Trinity was ordered to pay $175 million in damages. The company has also faced numerous other lawsuits related to its guardrails, with some plaintiffs alleging that the defective design had caused serious injuries or death.
Another example of a guardrail lawsuit involves Lindsay Transportation Solutions, another manufacturer of guardrails used on highways. In this case, a group of plaintiffs alleged that Lindsay's X-LITE guardrail system was defectively designed and that the company had failed to conduct adequate testing to ensure its safety. The X-LITE guardrail system had been involved in several accidents in which the guardrails had penetrated vehicles, causing severe injuries or death.
As a result of these lawsuits, some states have taken action to remove the X-LITE guardrail system from their roads, and Lindsay has faced millions of dollars in settlements and judgments.
Guardrails are an important safety feature on highways and roads, but when they fail to perform as intended, the consequences can be devastating. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving a guardrail, it may be worth exploring your legal options. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you understand your rights and pursue compensation for your injuries and damages.