Trinity Industries, one of the largest manufacturers of guardrails and endcaps in the U.S., has recently been criticized for altering the design of its endcap without notifying the U.S. government of the change. According to reports, the company’s ET-Plus System is intended to help guide a colliding vehicle and bring it to a stop. However, the company allegedly shortened a key metal component that reportedly increased the likelihood that the endcap would jam. When this occurs, the guardrail can reportedly lock up and penetrate the colliding vehicle, as well as occupants inside the car.
If you have been injured in an accident involving a highway guardrail, contact Attorney Group for Tennessee for information about a Tennessee Trinity guardrail lawsuit. There are no out-of-pocket costs to speak with us, and we can help you determine if you are eligible to file a Tennessee Trinity guardrail lawsuit and recover damages for your injuries. We can also connect you with an affiliated attorneys who can help you through the legal process.
Driver’s Truck Impaled in
In November 2014, the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) confirmed that an ET-Plus guardrail was involved in an accident on Highway 58 in Hamilton County where a Harrison man drove his pickup off the road and hit the guardrail. The guardrail subsequently impaled the passenger side and went out the back of the truck. The driver escaped unharmed.
Thirty-nine states, including Tennessee, are no longer installing the ET-Plus guardrail system after a study obtained by ABC News showed that guardrail crashes involving the ET-Plus had a higher risk of causing injury or death than other model guardrails.
Injuries that can occur in accidents involving poorly designed guardrails include head trauma, whiplash, neck and back injuries, traumatic brain injury, impalement, and death. In some cases, the motorist may require an amputation if the guardrail injures one of his or her extremities. Persons injured in an accident involving a guardrail are encouraged to seek legal counsel to explore a potential Trinity guardrail lawsuit in Tennessee.
An October 2014 New York Times article notes that Trinity guardrail lawsuits have been filed on behalf of persons who have been injured or killed in accidents involving the allegedly defective guardrail. Fourteen accidents, resulting in five deaths and more than 10 severe injuries, involving the ET-Plus have been reported to date. The Safety Institute has published results from a survey in which its researchers found that the ET-Plus, when compared to other model guardrails, is up to four times more to be involved in accidents resulting in a fatality.
Trinity Found to Have Defrauded the Government
In a federal whistleblower case brought against Trinity, it was alleged that the company made design changes to the ET-Plus system but failed to inform the federal government before it sold the products to them for use across the country. According to whistleblower who brought the suit, Trinity had a legal and moral responsible to notify the Federal Highway Administration of the decrease in the chute’s length but neglected to do so as the change was allegedly saving the company money.
On October 20, 2014, a jury found Trinity liable for defrauding the federal government and awarded damages of $175 million. That amount may triple to $525 million under the federal False Claims Act.
Contact Us to Learn More About a Tennessee Trinity Guardrail Lawsuit
If you or a loved one sustained an injury that you believe was caused by the ET-Plus guardrail, you may be eligible to file a Tennessee Trinity guardrail lawsuit and seek compensation for your injuries. The Attorney Group for Tennessee provides a comprehensive case evaluation at no out-of-pocket cost to you, and we can connect you with an affiliated attorney who can file your Tennessee Trinity guardrail lawsuit. You may be eligible to recover damages for pain and suffering, medical expenses, and lost wages.