In April 2014, 54 year-old Mark Hranek was driving a newspaper delivery truck on a stretch of road in Arizona. He veered off the road and hit the end of the guardrail, which had a shock-absorbing “safety feature” known as an ET-Plus end-terminal.
The ET-Plus is supposed to deflect the guardrail away from an oncoming vehicle. Instead, the guardrail impaled his vehicle and severed his leg. Mr. Hranek died shortly afterward.
Now his family is filing a lawsuit against Trinity Industries, the manufacturer of the ET-Plus. The family also says the Arizona Department of Transportation never should have installed the guardrail on the road.
Last year, a whistleblower lawsuit ended with a jury in Texas ordering Trinity to pay $175 million for defrauding the government by failing to disclose design changes to the ET-Plus. The whistleblower said those design changes made the ET-Plus more likely to jam up and impale vehicles.
In March, the Federal Highway Administration (FHA) concluded a series of crash-tests and said the ET-Plus passed all eight tests.
However, some critics question why the guardrail passed the eighth and final test, which ended with the guardrail buckling behind the end-terminal and severely damaging the driver’s side door of the vehicle.
The Gazette has reported that highway officials in Iowa have announced that they will continue installing the ET-Plus guardrails throughout the state.
Do I have a Guardrail Injury Lawsuit?
The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting guardrail induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been injured in a head-on crash with a Trinity ET-Plus guardrail, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Product Liability Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
Attention Lawyers: We consider a referral from another law firm to be one of the greatest compliments. If your firm is interested in referring us a case or for us to send you a list of previous award judgments and/or average referral fees, please visit the Lawyer Referral section of our website.