Drivers depend on numerous safety devices to ensure that they reach their destination. A major safety component of most highways is the metal guardrail barrier. A standard guardrail works by absorbing the energy of a moving vehicle. The guardrail collapses and takes the brunt of the impact, reducing the damage to the vehicle and the potential injuries of the driver.
However, an investigation into Trinity Industries, the manufacturer of the ET-Plus guardrail system, found that their guardrails could increase the chances for driver injury. The probe found that Trinity guardrails used a faulty design that could lead to severe injuries, or even fatalities, when struck by a vehicle. The investigation also found that the company lied about the flaws in Trinity guardrails in order to secure funding from federal and state highway departments.
Trinity guardrails have design flaws that quadruple the risk of death when crashes happen. Families who’ve lost loved ones in crashes involving these guardrails have options for holding Trinity liable.
The design flaw sparked a number of Trinity guardrails lawsuits. The flaw involves changes the company made to its ET-Plus rail head in 2005. The rail head is the flat portion of the guardrail that absorbs the initial impact. The Trinity guardrails lawsuits allege that the company changed the rail head design by narrowing the channel head. Internal documents showed that the company expected to save $2 per rail head with the new design.
Injuries Prompt Trinity Guardrails Lawsuits
The narrower channel head led to rail heads that would pierce through the car body, rather than absorb the vehicle’s energy. Several drivers and their families filed Trinity guardrails lawsuits, claiming that the redesigned rail head contributed to their injuries. At least five fatalities have been attributed to the defective design. The Trinity guardrails lawsuits allege that the new design would jam into the vehicle instead of guiding it along the rail. The jammed rail head could then lacerate or impale drivers on impact.
One of the first Trinity guardrails lawsuits was brought by a competitor who reported on the defective rail head design. Joshua Harman informed the Federal Highway Administration that Trinity had redesigned the rail head without submitting the new design for federal approval. The Trinity guardrails lawsuit alleged that the company benefited from failing to inform state highway agencies that purchased the new guardrail systems. The company reportedly told agencies in several states that the new rail heads were identical to previous systems and had passed the required crash tests.
Reasons to File a Trinity Guardrails Lawsuit
Documents in earlier Trinity guardrails lawsuits showed that the company sold thousands of defective systems across the country. Many of these guardrails have already caused serious injuries and fatalities, but many more have gone unreported. Victims and their families who file Trinity guardrails lawsuits can potentially recover medical expenses, lost income, and costs of future medical care. Proceeds from a Trinity guardrail lawsuit can also include non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, as well as punitive damages for the company’s false advertising claims.
Know Your Rights in a Trinity Guardrails Lawsuit
To find out how we can help you with a Trinity guardrails lawsuit, contact us today at 877-892-2797. Our friendly staff will ask a few questions about your case and connect you to a Trinity guardrails lawsuit attorney. You can also fill out the “Free Case Evaluation” form at the top of this page.