Earlier this month in Texas, a federal judge delivered a $663 million judgment against Trinity Industries, a guardrail manufacturing accused of producing a faulty product that can jam and spear through vehicles.
The judgment, which is the biggest known whistleblower award in U.S. history, stems from the trial held last year in a lawsuit filed in 2011 by a competitor who unearthed that Trinity had made a critical change to the dimensions of its ET-Plus guardrail in 2005 but failed to tell regulators as required by law.
The competitor, who will receive 30 percent of the award, or $199 million, said he brought the case to raise awareness about a safety risk. At least nine deaths have been linked in personal injury cases to the ET-Plus.
The competitor said the judge’s decision is a “stepping stone” to alerting the public and government leaders that the faulty guardrails are a serious issue.
Trinity says they plan to appeal the decision. A spokesman for the company said after the ruling that there was no fraud proven according to the evidence and that the trial court made egregious errors in the application of federal law to the plaintiff’s allegation.
Trinity is defending other lawsuits as more than 20 personal injury cases allege the ET-Plus is defective.
When defective products result in serious injuries and wrongful deaths, it is often necessary to pursue legal action. In addition to compensating the victims for the loss they may have suffered, a lawsuit forces the manufacturer to make the product safe, which can prevent future injuries.
Our Austin injury lawyer will examine your case and determine who is responsible for your injuries. For a free consultation about your potential products liability case, contact The Law Offices of Aaron Allison or give us a call at (512) 474-8346.