$7.9 Million Jury Verdict for the Sale of a 13-Year-Old Tire in Tire Separation Case

Mario Olguin, 51, bought a used set of mismatched tires, including a 13-year-old Michelin tire from A-Car Wrecking Salvage Lot.  Olguin took the tires to Twin’s Tires and Wheels, where the tires were installed on his vehicle. Eleven days later and while Olguin was a passenger in the vehicle, a tread on a Michelin tire separated. The Olguin party was traveling on a highway in Mexico. The driver lost control of the vehicle, which caused it to roll over.

Olguin suffered a spinal fracture at C2, a mild traumatic brain injury and significant wounds to his head and both arms. He was taken to a hospital in Mexico where he was placed in a halo brace and underwent skin grafting for his wounds. He also underwent an epidural and nerve-block injections for pain. Olguin still suffers pain in his neck and back. He also suffers from depression, mood disorder and cognitive problems that affect his decision-making and thought-processing skills. 

Once spontaneous and independent, Olguin now relies on his family for everything. His past medical expenses totaled nearly $307,000. His future medical expenses and life-care costs are estimated to be $1.5 million. At the time of this incident, Olguin owned and operated a landscape company. He has returned to work in a different job. There were no claims for lost earnings.  Olguin sued A-Car and Twin’s Tires and Wheels claiming that the companies were negligent in selling and installing a tire that was 13 years old and showed signs of weather cracking.

He also sued Michelin North America Inc., which designed the tire. Michelin argued that it recommended its tires be removed from service after seven years and that the tire had been removed from service at the time it was sold by the salvage lot.  The plaintiff settled with Michelin before trial for a confidential amount and with A-Car for $800,000. The trial, however, continued against Twin’s Tire. The jury found Twin’s Tire 100 percent at fault and awarded the plaintiff $7.9 million. The case was tried in the Los Angeles County Superior Court in July 2012. 

The attorneys representing Mario Olguin were Daniel M. O’Leary and Robert T. Simon.

Mario Olguin v. Michelin North America, Inc., No. BC456659 (Cal., Los Angeles Co. Super., July 12, 2012).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling tire defect cases, automobile defect cases, including rollover cases and automobile and truck crashes for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of another for more than 37 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Franklin Park, Chicago (Englewood, University Village, Ukrainian Village, West Town, Bucktown, Wicker Park, DePaul), Naperville, Carol Stream, Villa Park, Downers Grove, Hinsdale, Elmwood Park, Mount Prospect, Itasca and Hickory Hills, Ill.

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