Firestone Tire Lawsuits
In some defective product cases, the errant company quickly acknowledges the breakdown, makes things right, and moves on. But in may other situations, these problems persist for years. That’s the case with Firestone tires. These issues first came to light in the late 1990s. Even today, claims are still being filed and victims are still eligible for compensation.
The reasons for this delay are simple. Companies have teams of lawyers, scientists, and other professionals who work hard to conceal these facts from the public. The only way to level the playing field is to partner with an aggressive tire defect attorney, like the ones at Halpern, Santos & Pinkert. We work hard to not only bring these issues into the light, but also to obtain compensation for our clients. Over the years, we have developed proven methods that get results in both areas.
Why Were Firestone Tires Defective?
Here, the story is familiar as well. Many of the reasons Firestone tires were defective had nothing to do with the tires themselves.
As news of the scandal developed, some Firestone spin doctors tried to blame company tire inspectors for the problem. Indeed, at some points, each one of these overworked and underpaid inspectors examined about 100 tires an hour. It is difficult or impossible to determine any product’s overall safety in less than a minute.
However, from a legal standpoint, the company is responsible for everything that occurs during the manufacturing process. In some negligence cases, it is possible to blame negligent co-workers in some cases. But defective product claims are different because there is strict liability.
There were other issues as well. When quality rubber and adhesives became too expensive, the company used cheaper materials and did not revise safety standards. In other words, Firestone suits knowingly sold substandard products, expected consumer to pay full price, and tried to pass the buck when problems arose.
Your Claim for Damages
Defective product claims often involve the implied warranty of fitness in the Uniform Commercial Code. All new products must conform to these implied warranties, in addition to any written replacement warranty. Some highlights of UCC 2-314 include:
- All new goods sold must be of fair average quality,
- Tires and other goods must be fit for ordinary purposes, and
- All goods must conform to the affirmations and statements on the label.
Arguably, defective Firestone tires fall short in all these areas and more. Some dangerous tires have been recalled, but others are probably still on Florida roads.
Damages in a defective product claim usually include compensation for economic loss, like medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. Moreover, Dade County jurors often award substantial punitive damages in these cases.
Is It Too Late to File a Firestone Tire Claim?
Probably not. But after enough time goes by, the fight for fair compensation is a very steep uphill one.
Florida has a statute of repose. These company-friendly laws cut off compensation claims after about ten or twelve years, depending on the fact of the case. So, in defective tire cases, it’s very important to reach out to an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
But the statute of repose is not absolute, because the discovery rule is still in effect. According to this doctrine, the statute of limitations does not begin to run until the victim:
- Knows the full extent of damages, and
- Connects these damages to the defendant’s defective product.
Assume that a tire blowout causes an accident. Several years later, the victim learns about possibly defective Firestone tires. Several years after that, the victim learns that her tires had a minute defect. Arguably, the statute of limitations begins running at the end of those chain of events and not at the beginning.
Work With Aggressive Attorneys
Despite widespread publicity, Firestone has never really come clean about defective tire issues and has never fully remedied the problem. For a free consultation with an experienced tire defect attorney, contact Halpern, Santos & Pinkert, P.A. We do not charge upfront legal fees in defective product cases.