Motorcycle Tire Blowout Lawsuit Results In Verdict For Defendants
Tire blowout accidents can be difficult to win. In this case, the plaintiffs, who sustained catastrophic injuries as a result of a motorcycle tire blowout, failed to convince a jury that Michelin North America was responsible for the accident. Their claim was dismissed despite the severity of their injuries.
How are tire companies negligent for tire blowouts?
Tire companies have a duty of care to ensure their products are safe once they enter the stream of commerce. That duty of care means that the plaintiff does not necessarily need to prove negligence. The plaintiff needs only to prove one of three things. Firstly, they can prove that the tire was engineered defectively and because of its engineering, it is simply prone to blowouts. Second, you can allege that a manufacturing defect in the tire itself caused the blowout. Thirdly, you can allege that the company failed to warn the customers about a potential danger with the product.
If you choose to allege that the tire was engineered defectively, then you will likely need to prove that other tire blowout accidents like your client’s have occurred in the past. This establishes a tendency toward blowouts which strongly indicates that there is something wrong with the tire. As an example, some tires have a legacy of blowouts now for decades and several successful personal injury lawsuits have been won against them.
If you chose to allege that a manufacturing defect resulted in the blowout, then you don’t have to prove that the tires were innately dangerous (or that there were other accidents), but you will have to come up with some reason that the tire blew out when it wasn’t supposed to. This can be difficult because tires can blow out for any number of reasons, some of which are the responsibility and liability of the tire company and others of which are the responsibility of the driver. In one case, plaintiffs were able to prove that a specific plant was placing defective tires into the stream of commerce after quotas were put in place.
Failure to warn lawsuits are generally not related to tire liability issues.
Why did the plaintiffs lose this lawsuit?
In this case, the jury found that the injured parties contributed more liability than the tire companies. The tire could have been old, warn down, underinflated, overinflated, or any of a number of maintenance issues that fall within the responsibility of the individual driver. In fact, the majority of the time that a plaintiff files a lawsuit against a tire company, they will blame either the plaintiff or a third party for the problem. Hence, why it can be very difficult to win tire liability lawsuits against tire manufacturers. You have to prove that the tire was somehow defective and resulted in the accident. This is also why attorneys who file these lawsuits tend to have specialized practices for dealing with them.
If you’ve been injured due to a tire blowout accident, the Coral Gables tire defect attorneys at Halpern, Santos & Pinkert can review your claim to see if you have a strong case against the company. Evidence such as the tire itself can prove quite useful to winning these claims.