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Possible defective tire tread kills three, injures six others

You never know when a defective product may cost you your life. The man in this case never saw this accident coming.

This case was disturbing, as it deals with product liability issues that go right to the heart of consumer trust and confidence. This was a single-vehicle rollover that killed a pregnant woman and her child and a teenage boy, and injured six other kids. The tread of the group’s left rear SUV tire separated, causing the driver to lose control. The vehicle then spun out and rolled into the median of the highway before coming to a halt in some brush.

As the 2003 Ford Explorer was rolling down the highway, three people were ejected. Six of the children in the vehicle were not wearing seat belts. The pregnant passenger and her unborn baby were pronounced dead at the scene and a 14-year-old boy, who made it to the hospital alive, also died due to his injuries. The other children injured ranged from 10 to 17 years old and the driver was a 45-year-old man.

There are a lot of questions in this case, but perhaps the most important one asks what happened to the left rear tire? It may have been defective, and if that is the case, the victims of this crash may file personal injury lawsuits, or in the case of the deaths, wrongful death lawsuits. Negligence would be at the center of the suit – negligence from the tire manufacturer for poor-quality, shoddily made tires that could suddenly separate without warning.

Unfortunately, there are far too many things on the market these days that have serious potential to harm consumers. Defective tires are just one of hundreds of products that have failed to protect those who bought them in good faith.

As the law relates to product liability, there are usually several claims that may be brought against manufacturers. These include negligence, consumer protection claims, breach of warranty and strict liability. These laws are different from state to state and it’s best to ask a competent Austin personal injury lawyer what is applicable in your state if you feel you have a product liability claim. An Austin accident lawyer will outline the elements needed to take a successful case to verdict.

The three major product liability types are failure to warn (marketing defect), design defect and manufacturing defect. Quite often, a case may fall into more than one area. For example, in this particular case, if the tire is proven defective, the flaw may fall into the manufacturing defect and/or design defect categories. This is why an investigation is conducted in cases like this to determine the cause of an accident. For example, a plaintiff’s case could be pled under the doctrine of strict liability for defective design.

If you have had something similar happen, call a skilled Austin personal injury lawyer and find out your rights and what is needed to file a lawsuit.

Brooks Schuelke is an Austin personal injury attorney with Perlmutter & Schuelke PLLC. Contact an Austin injury lawyer at or (512) 476-4944.

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