Passenger Dies After Tire Blowout in Pickup Truck
A Texas man recently died after a front tire blowout. Chad Eugene Blackman was the passenger in a pickup truck when the tire rapidly deflated causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle. Robert Deveral Barber was driving a 1991 GMC pickup. He lost control of the vehicle and it careened into a ditch. Both men were killed in the crash. The incident is still under investigation.
Until it is known why the tire exploded, it’s difficult to say who is liable for the accident. Likely suspects include the driver, a service and supply shop that fitted the truck with the tire, the tire’s manufacturer, and the tire’s distributor. It could also be the case that some dangerous road condition caused the tire blowout in which case the State of Texas may be held liable for both men’s deaths.
Why Would the Driver be to Blame?
The law imposes certain requirements on drivers as regards the condition of their tires. Tires cannot be bald or severely underinflated. If the driver underinflated the tire, overinflated the tire, or failed to replace the tire when it became apparent that there was very little treading left, then the driver can be held solely liable for the death.
While it’s true that the driver is at fault in some cases, there are others who can contribute liability to this type of crash as well.
Why Would the Tire Manufacturer be to Blame?
When the tire manufacturer is to blame, there is some intrinsic flaw to either the design of the tire or something occurred during the manufacturing process that rendered the tire prone to blowouts. The latter happens sometimes when tire factories push tires off the line more quickly than they should and fail to implement quality-control measures that could have prevented a defective tire from entering the stream of commerce. There was a recent lawsuit against Goodyear involving one of their plants in Virginia that alleged that Goodyear was negligent in the manufacture of their tires and prized quantity over quality. That lawsuit resulted in a multi-million-dollar verdict.
In cases where the tire has an intrinsic defect, it can safely be assumed that all tires of the same model share that defect. In other words, there is a design flaw that renders the tire dangerous under certain conditions. These are difficult lawsuits to pursue because the defect may only become apparent in certain cases. One example of this is the G159 lawsuits aimed at Goodyear. Goodyear is alleged to have repurposed an urban delivery truck tire for RVs. RVs tend to spend extended periods of time maintaining highway speeds while urban delivery vehicles don’t. The result was several deaths related to tire blowouts caused by the tire overheating.
Talk to a Defective Tire Attorney Today
If a defective or poorly manufactured tire blowout resulted in injury to you or your loved ones, the Coral Gables tire defect attorneys at Halpern, Santos & Pinkert can hold the tire manufacturer responsible for their negligence. Talk to us today to set up a free consultation.