June 30, 2015 — Bloomberg reports that Trinity Industries Inc., maker of a controversial highway guardrail linked to at least nine deaths, has been ordered to pay $663 million for failing to tell the government about design changes that some say made the guardrail more dangerous.
The penalty was issued by U.S. District Judge Rodney Gilstrap early this month. It includes a $175 million verdict handed down by a jury in Texas last year. The verdict was tripled to $525 million under federal law because the jury found Trinity liable for defrauding the government.
Judge Gilstrap also added $138 million in penalties — or about $8,250 for each of 16,771 payments the government made for guardrails that were not to specification, according to the New York Times
Harman was awarded about a third of the payout — $199 million, plus $19 million in attorneys’ fees.
Trinity has staunchly defended the safety of the guardrails. Earlier this year, state and federal highway officials conducted a series of eight crash-tests. The ET-Plus end-terminal passed all eight tests, but the eighth and final test was controversial. The guardrail buckled and formed a sharp elbow, which severely damaged the door of the car in the crash-test.
Do I have a Guardrail Injury Lawsuit?
The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting Trinity guardrail induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been injured after hitting the 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.
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