May 22, 2015 — The Federal Highway Administration (FHA) has set new rules that will “close a loophole” that allowed them to sell modified guardrails without conducting crash-tests, according to the New York Times.
Trinity Industries, an embattled guardrail-maker, was convicted of defrauding the government by failing to disclose design changes to the ET-Plus guardrail end-terminal sometime in 2005. Those changes, whistle-blowers say, made the guardrail more likely to impale oncoming cars.
Manufacturers will now be required to conduct new crash-tests if they modify an older model guardrail. Those tests must be performed in accordance with the strictest safety measures.
The new rules will also require guardrail-makers to disclose any financial ties to crash-testing companies.
Earlier this year, Trinity completed eight crash-tests involving the ET-Plus. Although it “passed” all eight tests, there were concerns about the final test — the guardrail severely injured the door of the vehicle. The tests were also conducted by a former business partner of Trinity.
Trinity is now facing at least eight lawsuits on behalf of people who were injured or killed in horrific car accidents. One of the most recent lawsuits was filed by the son of a woman who was impaled after her SUV hit the ET-Plus, WJHL News reports.
The victim, Sebrena Carrier, was driving along a highway in Tennessee when he hit an ET-Plus end-terminal. According to the lawsuit, the “guardrail did in fact penetrate the passenger compartment, striking Ms. Carrier’s torso and causing her to suffer serious and fatal injuries.”
Do I have a Guardrail 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 by the Trinity ET-Plus, 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.
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