Articles Posted in Tire Defect Litigation

The Doe family was riding in a SUV on a highway on the way to Walt Disney World in Orlando. Jane Doe, 40, was driving the SUV when the car was rear-ended by a tractor-trailer that was moving at approximately 25 mph. The tractor-trailer was in the right lane and was being driven with a flat tire and another ruptured tire.

Jane Doe’s sister, 45, and a child, 6, were killed in the crash. Three other children ages 9 to 16 sustained injuries. One of the children required an extensive hospital stay.  The family’s medical expenses totaled about $100,000.

The lawsuit was filed against the trucking company, alleging that the driver of the tractor-trailer had chosen not to timely exit the highway as it experienced the flat tire and the ruptured tire. Additionally, the plaintiffs asserted that the trailer had been unsafe in that all its tires were in poor condition, including having insufficient treads and air pressure.

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The 7th Circuit United States Court of Appeals in Chicago affirmed a verdict by the U.S. District Court as to the injuries suffered by Donald and Mary Timm in July 2013.  During that time period, the Timms set off on a cross-country motorcycle trip on their Harley-Davidson motorcycle. The Timms’ route began at their home in Dyer, Ind., with a final destination at Salt Lake City, Utah.

While crossing through the state of Nebraska, the Timms suffered a catastrophic accident when their motorcycle’s rear tire sustained a puncture and rapidly deflated causing Donald Timm to lose control of the motorcycle and crash into a concrete median barrier.

Mary Timm flew off the motorcycle while Donald remained attached to the bike as it slid across the highway. Although both riders were wearing helmets, each sustained serious head injuries.  Donald sustained a traumatic brain injury as well as facial fractures and a cervical spine injury.

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Elwood Breaux Jr. was working for Plaquemines Parish when the “zipper failure” occurred, the name for a long sidewall rip with protruding metal reinforcement. With air escaping from the tire, Breaux was thrown backward and severely injured. He died 28 days after this occurrence on Feb. 5, 2014 of massive internal injuries to his chest and abdomen caused by the exploded tire. This case was tried before a judge in the Louisiana state district court.

The judge calculated damages to Breaux, his five children and his wife, at $6.7 million, saying about $481,000 of that will reimburse the parish for the workers’ compensation lien.

Louisiana state law will return some of that to the family’s share and judicial interest or add at least $1.4 million to the total. Attorney Danny Meeks represented the Breaux family in this tragic case.

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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.

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