Georgia Dept of Transportation Stops Using Faulty Guardrails

After Guardrail Company Settles Lawsuit, Georgia DOT Will Stop Using Product

GuardrailThe Georgia Department of Transportation has ordered its contractors to stop using faulty guardrails after the manufacturer recently settled a whistleblower lawsuit and agreed to stop manufacturing the defective product.

The defective guardrails, manufactured by Trinity Industries, reportedly failed to properly stop cars in the event of a car accident, and could instead impale drivers or passengers. Trinity began selling the modified guardrails  without receiving prior approval from safety regulators.  As a result of this, federal funding was improperly used on their purchase.  Numerous states across the US have used the product.

The company faced 14 personal injury cases involving splintering and impaling injuries from the guardrails, including 5 wrongful death cases.

“In the fall of 2012, three of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials’ 21 members responded to a survey about the field performance of guardrail terminals indicating that the end terminals were involved in three severe vehicle crashes that resulted in serious injuries and deaths; two of the three agencies specifically referenced the ET-Plus,” Highway safety watchdog Safety Research & Strategies, of Rehoboth, Mass., claimed in a separately filed complaint. “AASHTO asked FHWA to re-review its approval of the ET-Plus and document the modified barrier system’s crashworthiness under the federal criteria, NCHRP 350. More recently, in January 2014, the Nevada Department of Transportation informed Trinity that its ET-Plus terminal would no longer be considered approved equipment because of the 2005 modification that was not disclosed. Trinity was required to inform the state of the product modifications and failed to do so.”

Georgia’s DOT immediately issued an order banning the use of Trinity’s guardrails in any current or future highway projects. However, an unknown number of the guardrails have been previously used across the state.

In a prepared statement, the agency said, “Georgia DOT’s foremost mission is to provide for the safety of the tens of millions of people who travel on its system each day. That commitment has not — and will never — waiver.”

However, the agency admitted that it does not have a master list the locations where the defective guardrails were installed. GDOT also has no plans to remove existing guardrails.

Georgia Products Liability Lawyers

Under product liability law, it’s the injured party’s burden to prove that the product was defective. Therefore, it is important that the product be inspected by one or more qualified experts to determine the exact nature of the defect and whether that defect caused the harm suffered. If the product is not recovered, the customer may be left with no proof that the product was defective.

Dangerous, defective, improperly labeled or improperly used products are everywhere.

You need an experienced products liability attorney to protect your rights. The defective product lawyers at the Strom law firm are experienced in investigating the injury, determining all potentially responsible parties, and proving that the defective product caused your injuries.

The Attorneys at the Strom Law Firm Can Help with Defective Product Lawsuits in Georgia

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or died as a result of a defective product, contact the Strom Law Firm, LLC today. We can offer a free consultation with one of our dangerous products today to discuss the facts of your case.  (912) 264-6465