A product liability lawsuit has been filed against Goodyear, claiming that defective tires were responsible for a fatal auto accident, where the tire tread separated.
The Goodyear tire lawsuit was filed on August 17 in the Beaumont Division of the Eastern District of Texas by Esther Chavez, on behalf of the son of Raul Esquivel Navarrete, who was killed in the August 23, 2003 crash.
The complaint names Goodyear Dunlop Tires North America and Dunlop Ltd. as defendants and charges them with liability for breach of express and implied warranties, failure to warn, failure to issue a tire recall, negligence, gross negligence and fraudulent concealment, according to the Southeast Texas Record.
According to the tire tread separation lawsuit, the Goodyear tire on Navarrete’s vehicle failed, killing Navarrete and injuring five other passengers. The complaint alleges that the tire lacked a nylon cap that would have reduced the effect of heat along the belt edge. The claim also accuses the company of failing to warn consumers about the potential risk of Goodyear tire failures caused by tread separation and the loss of vehicle control that it could cause.
A number of similar lawsuits over Goodyear tire problems have been filed in recent years over crashes involving tread separation. In April, the Mississippi Court of Appeals upheld a $2.1 million verdict against Goodyear and Big 10 Tire Co., in which a jury found that a failed and defective Goodyear tire led to a 2000 accident that killed the driver and injured two passengers.
According to an ABC News report, nearly 50 lawsuits have been filed over Goodyear Long Range “E” tires made between 1991 and 2000, which are used on sport utility vehicles, pickups and vans. Although Goodyear claims that they are “quality tires,” the plaintiffs claim that the tires are defective and have a propensity for tread separation.
There were reportedly 15,000 incidents involving tire separation with Goodyear Long Range “E” tires between 1991 and 2001. These incidents resulted in 87 crashes, 158 injuries and 18 deaths, according to ABC News. However, a Goodyear tire recall has not been issued, as the tire maker maintains that the crashes they investigated involved either overloaded vehicles, under-inflated tires or misuse of the vehicle.
Chavez’s Goodyear lawsuit seeks $6 million for mental anguish, emotional pain and torment of a child, loss of consortium and other losses. The lawsuit also seeks exemplary damages of $24 million.