Michelin Tire Lawsuits
Michelin is a company with a long and proud history of manufacturing exceptional tires. By and large, the vast majority of these tires have been quality products that have served their drivers well throughout the years. In some cases, Michelin has missed the mark with tragic results. In other cases, Michelin has engaged in what the courts have labeled “a pattern of subterfuge”.
It’s largely because we are so reliant on tires to ensure the safe performance of our vehicles that lawsuits such as these get so much press. When there is a defect in either the design of the tire or in the manufacturing process, the results are often tragic. If a tire blows out at high speed, it becomes only a matter of luck whether or not the individual operating the vehicle will survive. For that reason, much is expected of tire companies. They owe their customers a duty of care to ensure their products are safe for their intended use. When they fail that duty of care, they’re liable for damages.
Bates et al v. Michelin North America Inc.
Johnny Bates was driving with his wife on Christmas Day when his tire blew out in a tragic accident. The accident left Bates without the use of either his arms or his legs and his wife also suffered serious injuries.
The cause of the accident was a tread separation on Bates’ 2001 GMC Jimmy. The result of the blowout caused the SUV to roll over. As troubling as that is, Michelin’s conduct during the case left the presiding judge quite upset. Michelin was accused of subterfuge and attempting to impede the judicial process during discovery. Ultimately, Michelin settled the lawsuit but the details of that settlement were closed. Michelin was not forced to admit wrongdoing.
Cruz v. Michelin North America Inc.
This accident occurred in 2006 when a Goodrich tire blew out causing the truck to swerve into oncoming traffic. Six people were killed as a result of the crash and a young boy was left paralyzed. A jury ruled that a defective Michelin tire played a substantial role in causing the crash and that Michelin was liable for the damages. Michelin was forced to pay $11.96 million in wrongful death and injury damages.
Brenda Isela Lopez de Santiago v. Michelin North America Inc.
More recently, a judge has ruled that Michelin must face a lawsuit concerning a tire that Michelin’s lawyers claimed was purchased used from a third-party. The lawsuit involves a 2015 crash in which Ms. de Santiago was driving a 2002 Honda CR-V that had been fitted with a Michelin tire. The rear tire blew out causing the SUV to roll over. She was injured and her daughter was killed in the crash.
The plaintiff maintains that the tires were purchased with the SUV. The judge ruled that Michelin had failed to prove that a third-party intervened in the situation and will force Michelin to face trial for the accident.
Contact a Defective Tire Attorney Today
If you’ve been injured or someone you love has died as a result of a Michelin tire accident, Halpern, Santos & Pinkert have the experience you need to recover the damages that you deserve. Give us a call or contact us online and we begin discussing your case today.