There is a great deal of controversy surrounding a certain highway guardrail system that has been used on a great number of highways across Missouri, Illinois, and the rest of the country. Many people allege that these are dangerous highway guardrails that have led to serious car accidents. In the most serious of cases, reports indicate that people have lost their lives due to these purportedly defective highway guardrails.
One such fatal accident took place in the Kansas City, Missouri area last January. The deadly collision took place while a construction worker was driving in his 1987 Ford Bronco behind a tractor-trailer on I-35. Another vehicle, which was traveling just left of the man’s Bronco, reportedly fell asleep while behind the wheel. Her vehicle edged over into the Bronco’s lane, smacking into it and sending it spinning toward the highway guardrail.
That guardrail, one of the ET-Plus guardrail systems that are made by Trinity Industries, apparently malfunctioned rather than operating as it should have. Ideally, the end terminal of a guardrail system should absorb the force caused by a crash and send the metal guardrail away from the crashing vehicle. Instead, this particular guardrail’s end terminal locked up in the accident, causing the guardrail to bend in an unexpected manner. The guardrail smashed through the driver’s side door and into the driver’s seat, killing the construction worker and causing significant injuries to a passenger in his vehicle.
This is only a single example of an accident where one of the Trinity Industries ET-Plus guardrail systems has reportedly failed to act in the manner in which it should. The critics of this particular system claim that the changes the company made to its design back in 2005 make it much more prone to causing dangerous conditions during accidents than its previous version. In fact, reports suggest that pieces of metal can actually slice away from the system and then cut through vehicles, often maiming or even killing vehicle occupants. If this is true, the fact that over 30,000 of these very guardrails have been utilized on Missouri freeways is deeply concerning.
At least one study suggested that the newer model of the ET-Plus guardrail system was much more likely to play a role in deadly accidents than the previous version of the product. For now, the Missouri Department of Transportation has halted any further installation of this system onto Missouri roadways. Missouri is not the only state to suspend installation of this product: at least 40 states have stopped installing these guardrail systems. A company spokesperson for Trinity Industries vehemently denies the claims made against its product and maintains that the system can and will pass new crash tests mandated by the federal government.
While it still remains to be seen whether the ET-Plus highway guardrails will qualify as dangerous highway guardrails, the fact remains that victims who are injured in car accidents involving this product do have certain legal rights under civil laws. They, or surviving family members of those who are fatally injured, may benefit from filing a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against the manufacturer of the highway guardrail believed to have malfunctioned. My St. Louis personal injury law firm can be reached toll-free at 1-888-586-7041 to help victims and their families find out more about their rights to seek financial restitution in a court of law. A successfully litigated lawsuit can help alleviate the economic strain that unexpected medical or other expenses can cause.
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Source Article: http://www.kansas.com/news/local/article5096838.html