Lawsuits Filed after Deaths Linked to Guardrail Accidents
Lawsuits have been filed by the families of the three victims killed in accidents that involved controversial highway guardrails in Tennessee. Opponents of the guardrails point to video footage in at least one case of the backward collapse and splintering of the rail that sent metal piercing through the victim’s vehicle upon impact. There have been at least seven deaths related to X-Lite guardrails in three different states.
Another victim, Lauren Gambill and her friend, Jacob Davison, died last year in their vehicle when the X-Lite guardrail pierced their car after a crash. According to Gambill’s mother, “Losing a child is just the most horrific thing that anyone can imagine. To think that she died senselessly — that’s why we want to bring awareness to this issue. So that other folks don’t lose their children in this manner.”
X-Lite Guardrails Fail to Perform as Expected
According to video from Lindsay Transportation Systems, makers of the X-Lite guardrails, show the guardrails working as intended – by telescoping backward and absorbing impact of a crash.
Unfortunately, though, in real-world conditions, the Tennessee Department of Transportation determined that in many high-speed crashes involving X-Lite systems, the rails separated, essentially acting as spears. The state has contacted federal regulators over their concerns about the rails, and is investing millions of dollars to remove all of the systems throughout the state.
X-Lite Guardrails are primarily located in six other states in addition to Tennessee, including Maryland, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, and Texas. According to federal regulators, nine states have stopped buying and/or begun replacing the X-Lite systems.
Gambill’s attorney called the problem with the guardrails a “design defect” and pointed out how it has led to “horrendous damage and deaths.”
Lindsay Transportation Solutions released a statement calling the claims against the systems “without merit” and stated that X-Lite guardrails have passed federal crash and safety tests.
Filing a Product Liability Cases Related to X-Lite Guardrail Accidents
The lawsuits against Lindsay Transportation Solutions and X-Lite are product liability cases. These are filed when a product or device is supposed to perform safely and instead, causes harm.
We have represented a family of a young lady that died in a crash where a guardrail penetrated the passenger compartment of the vehicle. Even in cases where the guardrail has not been recalled, an engineer should analyze the crash to determine if there was some defect in the guardrail or its construction that caused it to penetrate the passenger compartment. A guardrail should not enter the passenger compartment under typical crash scenarios.
For more information or to discuss an incident in which you or a family member was hurt by an X-Lite Guardrail, contact Heavens Law at 888.897.5377 for a free consultation.