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BRUNKENHOEFER Wins $33M Verdict in Defective Truck Tire Case

| March 6, 2019

The team at Brunkenhoefer, P.C. has secured a $33 million-dollar verdict on behalf of a South Texas family who lost a loved one in a tragic collision with a concrete truck

The deceased, Ramiro Munoz, Jr., was driving northbound on Highway 83 outside of Carrizo Springs in Dimmit County, Texas on June 11, 2013 when a concrete truck struck his vehicle. The cause of the crash was determined to be a catastrophic tread separation in the left front tire of the concrete truck that caused the vehicle to pull to the left and into oncoming traffic. The truck driver attempted to regain control of the truck by braking and steering to the right, but the vehicle tipped over onto the driver side and slid down the highway and into the victim’s vehicle.

The tire was a 385/65R22.5 Goodyear G286A “Super Single” heavy truck tire that was manufactured in the company’s Danville, VA plant. The plaintiffs argued that severe defects including misalignment of the steel belts and lack of adhesion between them allowed the belt package to tear away from the tire carcass.  These defects, the plaintiffs argued, were caused by plant conditions that included water contamination from roof and pipe leaks, as confirmed by several employees of the plant.

The plaintiffs’ attorneys also contended that Goodyear:

  • Used overaged rubber stock which affected adhesion of the belt layers
  • Failed to x-ray tires to detect defects prior to sale
  • Failed to provide enough time and manpower to properly inspect tires before sale

Goodyear contended that the crash was due to faulty maintenance of the truck and tire on the part of the company that owned the truck, D.G.J. Transport, Inc. They pointed to the fact that the truck had several “out of service” violations prior to the crash, and also noted that the truck was legally overweight by 2,000 lbs. and 5,000 lbs. over the gross vehicle weight (GVW). Goodyear also contended that the truck driver took faulty evasive action when the tire failed, and that the driver’s action rather than the tire failure caused the crash.

After only three hours of deliberation, the jury rendered a unanimous verdict on behalf of the plaintiffs, holding Goodyear responsible for the defectively manufactured tire and D.G.J. Transport, Inc. responsible for contributing to the crash. The jury further determined that Goodyear and its tire were 90% responsible for the crash and D.G.J. Transport and/or its driver was 10% at fault.

Lead trial attorney R. Blake Brunkenhoefer says of the verdict: “On behalf of everyone who helped make this possible, including my talented colleagues John Gsanger and Judge Francisco Ponce, we are honored that the Munoz family chose us to take up their cause, and we are pleased to see that justice was served in this case.  It is our hope that Goodyear will change its production practices at the Danville, VA plant and across the country, to ensure that this never happens again.

Category: Featured, General Update, News, Wheels & Tires

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