TIRE CASE- COMMENT
- My question to you: what is the legal cause of injury.. the defect in the tire or the failure to wear a sweatbelt?
Can’t say what is legal cause, but it seems, based on defendant expert’s assessment that the tire failed due to no fault of driver or owner.
As to the issue of seatbelts:
That is a significant issue. Person is more likely than not to be ejected in this type of incident when not seatbelted. But it is an aggravating cause whereas without the tire failure issue and the subsequent actions, the rollover would not have occurred.
As to the seatbelts and the children, certainly the parents should be faulted for not seatbelting them, but the children should not be held accountable. As to whether any award, that is a tricky question. I would like to hear arguments how the seatbelt issue would affect the award. One tricky area is should the children’s compensation amount for the loss of a parent be affected when it was the parent who decided to not wear a seatbelt.
Did the impact cause the tire to detread or was it a defect?
Defense says that the tire incurred an impact in the last 500 miles. I am assuming the impact was not an impact received during the rolling events, but rather was an impact prior to this specific incident. Hence, TC fault, not driver/owner.
What do you think about the overcorrection?
Probably, but that happens often. Driver was not identified as a professional or otherwise trained driver having special knowledge or skills regarding vehicle handling under this type of condition.
Who is correct and why?
Not sure which expert is correct, not my field. But I don’t think it makes any difference. The tire failed, the driver was steering to compensate for the tire failure cause in the vehicle handling characteristics, I don’t know why the second change in steering: perceived need to correct, didn’t understand the correction issues, panic, perceived a greater risk if didn’t correct, etc. It happens. As to the consequent rollover, if it can be proven that the driver purposely overcorrected to seek a thrill, etc. then the injuries are not the fault of TC. If so, then it is reasonable to expect this vehicle would roll, and it is reasonable to expect occupants not seatbelted would be ejected, and it would be expected that ejected occupants would be seriously, if not fatally, damaged.
I’m curious, why isn’t the car manufacturer included in the lawsuit: high center of gravity vehicle with propensity to roll in situations like this. Was this tire failure a design or manufacturing defect? Was this tire appropriate for this vehicle? Were there any warnings that the tire shouldn’t be driven for 74,000 miles?
Congrats on the upcoming new addition! Is this your first?
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