More than half the country has suspended installation of highway guardrails manufactured by Trinity Industries after the company was accused of making a secret design change that causes the systems to malfunction, spearing through vehicles and their occupants. On Oct. 20, a jury found Trinity guilty of defrauding the federal government and ordered it to pay $175 million in damages — an amount that’s expected to triple by statutory mandate.
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 we can help.
Trinity Accused of Safety Cover-Up, Fraud
Trinity’s ET-Plus System was investigated by ABC News “20/20” in September after crash victims alleged that the modified guardrails can malfunction when struck by oncoming traffic. Rather than ribboning out and absorbing the impact as designed, the devices locked up and impaled vehicles, severing motorists’ limbs in some cases.
According to an internal email, a Trinity employee estimated one small change — reducing a metal piece in the guardrail end terminal from 5” to 4” — would save the company $2 per guardrail, or about $50,000 per year.
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) set a deadline of October 31 for Trinity to submit plans to crash test its ET-Plus Guardrail or face a nationwide suspension. Some of the states that have taken action against the company say the ban is in place at least until the test results are available.
Which States Have Banned Trinity Guardrails?
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Dakota
Guardrail Lawsuit Filed in Tennessee
April 27, 2015 – A Tennessee man has filed a lawsuit against Trinity alleging that its ET-Plus guardrail system caused the death of his mother in a 2008 traffic accident. The plaintiff claims that the guardrail failed because of a design flaw when the woman’s SUV collided with an end terminal on Highway 394 near Blountville, Tennessee, in Dec. 2008.
Instead of ribboning out and absorbing the impact of the vehicle, the “guardrail did in fact penetrate the passenger compartment, striking the victim’s torso and causing her to suffer serious and fatal injuries,” according to the lawsuit. Click here to learn more.
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 we can help.