Kansas and 38 other states have announced the suspension of any future installations of the controversial guardrail system ET-Plus guardrail system, manufactured by Texas-based Texas Industries, following what many have stated to be a cover-up of a potentially dangerous change in the ET-Plus’ design. Media reports note that states have banned the guardrail amid claims that an alteration in the design of the guardrail increases the risk of injury or death of motorists who come into contact with the rail.
If you were injured or a loved one killed in an accident involving a highway guardrail, you may be eligible to file a Trinity guardrail lawsuit in Kansas and recover damages for your loss. Contact Attorney Group for Kansas for more information and to receive a free initial case evaluation. If you have a case, we can put you in touch with an affiliated attorney who can assist you in seeking the compensation to which you may be entitled.
Study Reports Increased Risk
While guardrails are typically designed to bend to lessen the shock of a collision, Trinity reportedly shortened a key metal component in its ET-Plus design from five inches to four inches. This change, according to several experts, increases the likelihood that the rail head will break away from the guardrail upon impact and impale the colliding vehicle and its passengers. The safety issue has garnered media attention across the country.
Due to rising concerns about the safety of these guardrails, researchers at The Safety Institute analyzed highway accident data from two states, Ohio and Missouri, to determine the rate of fatalities and injuries between 2005 and 2014. Compared to its predecessor, the ET-Plus was determined to be 2.86 times more likely to cause death and 1.36 times more likely to cause injury. While scientists maintained that additional research was needed and that broad conclusions could not be reached based on data from two states, they did conclude that that the ET-Plus is one of the deadliest guardrails in the U.S.
Trinity Required to Pay $175 Million in Whistleblower Lawsuit
Lawsuits are increasing throughout the U.S. as plaintiffs pursue claims against Trinity for allegedly failing to warn of the potentially dangerous changes it made to its ET-Plus guardrail. If successful, these lawsuits could result in awards to help compensate victims for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and more. If you believe you have a case, contact Attorney Group for Kansas for more information about filing a Trinity guardrail lawsuit in Kansas.
According to the allegations of a whistleblower lawsuit, Trinity knowingly sold the ET-Plus to the U.S. government but failed to inform them of the change before marketing the product, despite having the legal obligation to do so. As a result, the Federal Highway Administration purchased the guardrails without knowing about the alteration, and a jury in federal court in Texas found Trinity liable for $175 million for fraud in connection with the sale of the guardrail system to the government.
Under the federal False Claims Act, the $175 million award could triple to $525 million. Individuals who feel they have a case may consider seeking legal counsel to verify if they are entitled to recover damages by filing a Trinity guardrail lawsuit in Kansas.
Attorney Group for Kansas Can Help
If you have questions about filing a Trinity guardrail lawsuit in Kansas, contact Attorney Group for Kansas for a free case evaluation. There are no out-of-pocket expenses to receive a consultation, and we can connect you with affiliated personal injury attorneys to help you file a Trinity guardrail lawsuit in Kansas..