$14.4 Million Wrongful Death Verdict in Faulty Tire Case
Posted By The Carlson Law Firm || 1-Feb-2011
Whenever you bring your vehicle to a repair shop you place a significant amount of trust in the facility. You assume required repairs will be performed correctly, and your vehicle will be safe to drive when you leave. Unfortunately, sometimes repair facilities overlook problems or fail to appropriately complete necessary fixes.
The actions of a San Diego Ford dealership resulted in a tragic auto accident for one family. The dealership made a faulty tire repair on the couple’s Ford E350 Sportsmobile van in August 2005. When the husband was driving the van in July 2006, a tread separation on the right-rear tire caused him to lose control of the vehicle. A rollover crash then took the lives of both the husband and wife. Their three sons were the plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the repair shop.
In addition to the $14.4 million verdict, the plaintiffs reached an $8.3 million settlement with other defendants, resulting in a total award of over $22 million. The plaintiffs’ attorney claims it is the largest settlement for such a case in the history of San Diego County.
The plaintiffs’ attorney argued that the Ford dealership failed to remove the tire from service, resulting in the tread separation that caused the fatal vehicle rollover. The jury agreed, and awarded the plaintiffs a $14.4 million wrongful death verdict against the Ford dealership.
As part of a post-trial settlement, the Ford dealership agreed to immediately start following industry guidelines for tire repair practices. Additionally, they plan to implement a program to better train their technicians on safe tire repair practices.
Hopefully a tragic case such as this serves as a warning to other repair facilities about the importance of proper training and the need to follow appropriate maintenance guidelines.