After Kentucky state regulators investigated reports of injury and death in passengers whose vehicles collided with the ET-Plus guardrail, manufactured by Trinity Industries, the Kentucky Department of Transportation made the decision to join 38 other states and the use of the guardrails on roadways in the state. Trinity is under scrutiny after allegations surfaced that the company defrauded the Federal Highway Administration (FHA) regarding a design change made in 2005 that has been linked to a number of injuries and deaths.
If you have been in an accident involving the Trinity ET-Plus guardrail, you may be eligible to file a Trinity guardrail lawsuit in Kentucky. For more information, contact Attorney Group for Kentucky to schedule a free initial case evaluation. If you have case, we can connect you with an affiliated attorney who can assist you in filing a Trinity guardrail lawsuit in Kentucky.
Injuries, Deaths Linked to ET-Plus
According to The New York Times, the ET-Plus guardrail has been linked to at least five deaths and more than 10 injuries in 14 separate incidents across the country. Major news outlets throughout the U.S. continue to report on bans and plans to remove the guardrails by states. As many as 39 states have prohibited use of the guardrails on their roads.
Instead of bending to absorb the force of the impact, the redesigned guardrail, which decreased the length of a railhead from five to four inches, reportedly increases the chance that the railhead can break away pierce the car and its occupants. While the decrease from five to four inches may not seem significant, experts state that even a small change could significantly increase the risk of injury or death in the event of a collision.
The Safety Institute conducted a study in which its researchers looked at accident data from two states, Missouri and Ohio, to determine whether the reported design change had any impact on the rate of injury and death in accidents in these two regions. According to the results, the ET-Plus was 1.36 and 2.86 times more likely to cause injury and death, respectively, after the design changes were made in 2005, compared to accidents involving the previous Trinity guardrail model. While researchers stated that there is a need for additional research, the data suggests that the ET-Plus is one the deadliest guardrails in the country.
Whistleblower Lawsuit Results in $175 Million Award
On October 20, 2014, a federal jury in Texas found Trinity liable for fraud for its failure to inform the FHA about its 2005 design changes. The whistleblower had argued that the changes the company made could cause the guardrails to penetrate crashing vehicles instead of absorbing the impact of the collision, putting the cars’ occupants at an increased risk of severe injury or death. Jurors agreed and returned a verdict of $175 million, which could be tripled to $525 million under the federal False Claims Act.
In addition to the whistleblower lawsuit, other persons injured by a Trinity guardrail may consider seeking legal counsel to determine whether they are eligible to file a Trinity guardrail lawsuit in Kentucky against the manufacturer. Attorneys feel confident that claims will continue to increase in line with additional reports of injuries or deaths.
Learn More about Filing A Trinity Guardrail Lawsuit in Kentucky
Contact Attorney Group for Kentucky if you have been injured in a car accident involving the ET-Plus guardrail system. You may be entitled to file a Trinity guardrail lawsuit in Kentucky. There are no out-of-pocket expenses to speak with us, and we can help you determine whether you are eligible to file a Trinity guardrail lawsuit in Kentucky. We can also connect you with an experienced affiliated attorney who can assist you in seeking the compensation to which you may be entitled.