Federal prosecutors have subpoenaed 16 years worth of documents from Texas-based Trinity Industries relating to its controversial highway guardrail systems linked to at least 8 deaths and dozens of injuries.
Free Guardrail Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one has been injured in a guardrail accident, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit against the manufacturer of the guardrail and our lawyers can help.
What’s the Problem?
April 30, 2015 – Trinity was subpoenaed by federal prosecutors in Boston on Tuesday, according to ABC News. In a company filing with the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), Trinity said prosecutors requested documents from 1999 to the present “relating to the ET 2000 and ET Plus guardrail end-terminal products.”
Trinity has been accused of creating a serious safety hazard when it secretly changed the design of its guardrail systems in 2005 without telling the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
Class Action Lawsuits
Trinity said in the SEC filing that it intends to cooperate with the investigation. The company also said a number of class action lawsuits have been filed against it relating to the ET Plus guardrail system. Trinity contends that the complaints are without merit and that it will vigorously defend its actions.
Prosecutors to Investigate Trinity’s ‘Cozy’ Relationship With FHWA
People familiar with the events surrounding Trinity said the investigation is focusing in part on whether any state or federal highway officials received payments from the company to approve use of the modified ET-Plus end terminal.
Additionally, internal FHWA emails released to ABC News revealed that agents from the Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General had observed crash tests performed on Trinity guardrails in Dec. and Jan., though their presence was not made public.
The government ordered a series of 8 safety tests after Trinity was found guilty of committing fraud when it altered the design of the ET-Plus end terminal in 2005 without notifying highway officials. Trinity said it will appeal the verdict.
Controversy Over Crash Test Results
Last month, FHWA announced that the ET-Plus had passed all 8 tests, which would allow it to remain legal for use on U.S. highways. However, controversy swirled over the last test, which critics called a “clear” failure. In that final run, the small test vehicle appeared to be severely damaged on the driver’s side after colliding with the guardrail. The government’s passing grade drew outrage from members of Congress.
“FHWA’s unacceptable patterns of inadequate oversight unfortunately continues today,” Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) told ABC News.
That final test also fueled questions about the legitimacy of the crash tests, as well as the relationship between Trinity and the FHWA, which Blumenthal called “all too cozy.”
Do I Have a Highway Guardrail Lawsuit?
The Product Liability Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Highway Guardrail Lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new guardrail injury and death cases in all 50 states.
Free Highway Guardrail Lawsuit Evaluation: Again, if you or a loved one has been injured in a guardrail accident, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a Guardrail Suit and our lawyers can help.