Experts Look At Oxidation As A Potential Tire Problem
Can tires wear out with no visible sign of distress? Some experts are saying that they can and they blame the problem on oxidation. According to a recent lawsuit in which a truck driver was left with permanent disabilities after a tire blowout accident, expert witnesses are raising the alarm about a potential invisible danger: Oxidation. Oxidation is the same process that causes metal to rust. Exposure to oxygen can erode certain materials causing them to weaken.
Truck drivers are required by law to do visual inspections of their tires on a 24-hour basis. Additionally, tires are inspected prior to any delivery. The truck driver insists that the tire had no visible signs of wear and tear and a post-accident inspection of the tire seems to corroborate his claim. Nonetheless, the company that manufactured the tire claims that the tire was so worn down and abused that it would have been illegal under federal law. In other words, they’re blaming the victim.
The tire manufacturer has a problem
While playing dumb and blaming everyone else is actually an exceptional legal strategy, it doesn’t work unless you’re in a vacuum of corroborating evidence. In this case, the same tire company is facing multiple allegations that pristine tires are blowing out all over the place. While the tire company can express confusion over the allegations and insist that there is nothing wrong with their tires, they will only continue to do this until plaintiffs present enough compelling evidence against them. After a pile of evidence has been presented against the defendants, they can settle the case under a seal and the company that caused this accident will get to claim publicly that they are not responsible for the accidents.
What does Google say?
While most lawyers don’t rely on Google to provide them with expert testimony, a brief rundown of the available literature indicates that rubber is prone to oxidation. That means oxidation is a known problem for rubber and rubber-made components. That means that rubber products need antioxidants to help prevent the premature degradation of the rubber. In other words, it’s common knowledge that rubber is prone to oxidation and that it needs an antioxidant to prevent it from degrading too quickly. Other things that can degrade rubber are heat and other gasses. Hence why tires are fitted with carbon black to prevent or at least forestall the oxidation.
Armed with Google and 20 seconds worth of reading, we can situate the plaintiff’s argument in known science. The jury agreed with this assessment awarding the plaintiff $3 million in damages.
The biggest problem is that drivers cannot do anything to ensure that their tires are free of oxidation. Often, the tires look just fine, even to professional drivers who are trained to do tire inspections on a daily basis. This places the liability squarely on the tire manufacturers to ensure that their tires had proper oxidation treatments.
Talk to an Auto Part Liability Lawyer Today
The Coral Gables tire defect attorneys at Halpern, Santos & Pinkert represent plaintiffs in product liability claims against auto and auto part manufacturers. Call today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can recover damages related to your injuries.