Tennessee Family Speaks Out After Fatal Bus Accident
In 2013, a young man was coming back from a fishing trip with his father, brother, and friends. In the opposite direction, a North Carolina church bus was heading home after a music festival. The front rear tire on the bus blew causing the driver to lose control, careen across the median, and slam into a semi-truck and an SUV. The young man was in the SUV. He would be one of eight people who were killed that day. Six of those were on the church bus.
After the investigation was concluded, the cause of the accident was ruled a defective tire. The family decided to sue Hankook Tire, the South Korean company that manufactured the tire. They claimed that the tire was defectively designed and manufactured and that it caused the death of their loved one. Their ultimate hope was to punish the company that caused this disaster and get the tire taken off the road.
Unfortunately, Tennessee law caps the amount of non-economic damages that can be awarded in a wrongful death lawsuit at $750,000.
Damage Caps in Florida
Up until recently, Florida only put damage caps on medical malpractice lawsuits because it was believed that large claims were driving up the cost of health care in the state. Tennessee is one of a handful of states that cap damages on any wrongful death lawsuit. In many states, the practice has been ruled unconstitutional on the basis of the equal protection clause.
Hankook Tire Has Had Issues Like This Before
While no tire company has a perfect track record and some have taken serious dents to their reputation, Hankook has had an especially bad run recently. Last year, a federal jury awarded a plaintiff $37 million after a defective Hankook tire rendered the plaintiff a paraplegic. Our team at Halpern Santos & Pinkert successfully litigated this case. The plaintiff was driving a cement truck when the Hankook tire lost its tread and rolled over. According to the complaint, the tire leaked oxygen from the body of the tire to other parts of the tire causing the tread to weaken. The complaint also alleged that the bonding process that attached the steel belting of the tread to the tire was not sufficiently strong to hold the cement truck’s weight. The jury agreed.
In 2016, Hankook’s problems reached a critical mass when Hyundai and Kia severed ties with the manufacturing company amid lawsuits over defective design. Hyundai was forced to issue a number of recalls on the Genesis, it’s flagship sedan after drivers complained of an irritating noise. Hyundai traced the problem to the car’s tires. A second recall had to be issued after Hyundai found defects in the tires’ sidewall.
Talk to an Experienced Tire Defect Attorney
As the above article illustrates, tire defect lawsuits require complex scientific arguments that explain how and why the tire defect caused the accident. If you need a Florida defective tire attorney, the team at Halpern Santos & Pinkert has recovered millions of dollars in damages for our clients. Give us a call and set up an appointment today.