Tire Defect & Rollover Lawsuits & Settlements

Firestone Tire Tread Separation & Ford Explorer Rollover

Jackson vs. Firestone & Ford Motor Company. Back left Firestone tire tread separation caused a deadly Ford Explorer rollover accident on Interstate 45 south of Houston, Texas. The front seat passenger was killed and back seat passenger suffered a broken neck and the driver of the SUV lost both legs. The left rear Firestone tire suddenly lost its tread causing the driver to lose control of her SUV and roll over. A critical fact that helped prevent Firestone from claiming that a road hazard caused the accident was that the tire still held air despite losing all of its tire tread. This case was instrumental in NTHSA's nationwide Firestone tire recall in which over 8 million Firestone tires were recalled and the nation finally started to learn the dangers of tread separations and rollovers. A product liability lawsuit against Firestone and Ford was filed and later settled out of court.

Firestone Tire Defect Causes Ford Explorer to Rollover

SUV rolls over after the driver of the Ford Explorer feels a vibration and then suddenly experiences a Firestone Tire Tread Separation / blowout on I-35 near Temple, Texas The detreaded tire caused SUV driver to lose control of his SUV and it rolled initially on the highway and then continued to roll off the shoulder onto the across the grass median onto the service road.. The driver's young wife was killed when the roof crushed down on her. A wrongful death lawsuit was filed against Ford Motor Co and Firestone and settled out of court.

Titan Tire Bead Failure & Explosion Kills Tire Shop Worker

An East Texas tire worker was killed after a Titan AG tire explosion occurred as he was working on it. The force of the blast of the Titan AG tire caused massive head injuries to a 36-year-old worker propelling him all the way to the ceiling of the tire shop, which resulted in his death. The tire worker had difficulty getting the tire to seat all the way onto the tire lip / rim and he thought the tire had finally seated when the Titan tire bead failed and exploded. Though the Titan Tire proudly had an American flag embossed on the side wall, it was later determined that the Titan tire had in fact been manufactured in Eastern Europe where the top quality control was not followed and it was made to the incorrect diameter and dimensions as needed to properly fit on the rim to safely seat. Our law firm represented the surviving family in a tire defect lawsuit against the Titan Tire Company, the tire maker and tire distributer of the defective AG tire and filed a wrongful death lawsuit that was later settled.

General Tire Tread Separation Causes Chevy Truck Rollover Death

Young Texas driver was killed when the back left tire made by Continental General Tire Co. detreaded on his Chevrolet pickup truck. Driver attempted to steer and brake, but lost control and the vehicle rolled over. During the rollover it is believed that his seat belt buckle inadvertently unbuckled allowing him to be ejected resulting in massive head injuries and death. His surviving parents filed a lawsuit against Continental General Tire. Case was settled out of court.

Negligent Inspection of Tires at Auto Dealership

Arkansas man while driving his Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck hydroplaned on a wet highway in Northern Mexico. Sadly he lost control of his truck and it rolled. During the truck rollover, the roof collapsed down onto him in his survival space breaking his neck resulting in him becoming a paraplegic. The driver was properly belted, but the belts failed to couple him tightly to the seat and allowing him to be thrown around inside the rolling vehicle. Before traveling on the trip, a local Pontiac Buick dealer had serviced the truck and it was noted that the tires didn’t need rotating as the better tires with more tread were already on the front. A rollover stability and roof defect lawsuit was filed against General Motors and against the car dealer for failing properly rotate the tires and failing to warn the truck owner of that the better tires with more tread and traction should be on the back of the truck. An out of court settlement was obtained against all parties.

RV Tire Tread Defect Leads to RV Fire & the Death of an Elderly Couple

Elderly couple driving their RV on a vacation experienced a sudden detread / blowout of the front right RV tire located adjacent to the RV’s front door. When the RV tire’s tread came off it hit the unshielded or unguarded propane gasline next to the RV's frame near the wheel well. The RV tire blowout caused the propane gas line to rupture catching the RV on fire. The driver of the RV attempted to steer the recreational vehicle off the highway and escape the fire, but the RV fire was too intense. Sadly the fire blocked the couple’s only escape door and they both died in the fire. A wrongful death lawsuit was filed against all parties including the RV designers, RV and chassis manufacturer for not having a back door or secondary escape hatch in case of entrapment or fire. The case was settled for a confidential amount.

Chinese AG Tire Bead Explosion Causes Death of Tire Shop Worker

Arkansas tire shop worker killed when a large 14.9-24R-1 agricultural tire manufactured in China exploded after attempting to mount it on the rim. Upon x-ray examination of the farm tractor AG tire, it was determined that the tire bead was made using the Weftless design which is a form of multi strand steel ribbons. The tire bead defects included multiple locations of separation of the Weftless layers at multiple locations leading to sudden tire bead failure and the explosion during the tire inflation and seating process. A product liability lawsuit was filed against the Chinese tire manufacturer and distributors. Case was settled out of court.

Can Tire Inflator Explosion

The contents of a butane/propane based canned tire inflator exploded while attempting to inflate a tire. The owner had attempted to fix a flat on his SUV’s back left tire by putting in a can of tire inflator to fix the flat. Unknown to the buyer, but the tire inflator contained an explosive and flammable mixture of butane and propane used to inflate the tire. After several days of adding air to the tire the man finally took the SUV to a Houston Chevron station and asked our client, young worker, to fix the flat with a tire plug. Our client found and removed the nail and then proceeded to clean out the puncture hole with a tire reamer (a metal device used to clean the hole that resembles an ice pick). The tire reamer created a microscopic spark when it rubbed against one of the steel belts inside of the tire. The spark ignited the flammable mixture in the propellant-filled tire. The explosion propelled the young worker 20 feet. He was hospitalized for approximately 3 months with multiple broken bones and the SUV owner was also injured when flying shrapnel struck his knee requiring surgery. This case was settled for policy limits and the product line of tire inflators were removed from the market.

Can of Flat Tire Fixer Inflator Exploded Inside Vehicle Burning Driver

Pickup up truck driver has traveling on the service road of Interstate 10 in El Paso, Texas when she attempted to light a cigarette with her Bic Lighter. A fire ball erupted in the truck’s cab and the flash fire burned her face, arms, hair and clothing. Luckily for her that two fire marshals were in the car next to her and saw what happened and pulled her out of her vehicle and extinguished the flames and got her transported to the hospital. Under her seat was a can of tire fix used to fix a flat tire. Unknown to the victim, the canned tire inflator contained butane and propane. During that hot summer afternoon, the temperature in the vehicle had risen and the top of the can had leaked the flammable gas which exploded with the spark of the lighter. A product liability lawsuit was filed and later settled for a confidential amount.

Canned Tire Inflator Explosion Causing Total Blindness

A San Antonio Texas man was blinded when the tire rim he was welding a crack on suddenly exploded. The exploding tire caused blindness in both eyes and partial amputation of his left hand. Our client’s friend and neighbor was attempting to move a mobile home and the day he before had noticed a slow leak in one of the tires. The neighbor went to a local gas store and purchased a can of the Gunk Brand Puncture Seal, an canned tire inflator used to fix a flat tire. He used put tire inflator fixer in tire to attempt to seal the crack on the rim. The canned tire inflator by its very nature only works in the area where the tread or rubber is located and will not adhere higher up on the rim due to the rotation / centrifugal force. The neighbor brought the tire to our clients repair shop and they noticed 2 cracks in the rim. Our client, a part time welder and auto mechanic welded both cracks and inflated the tire. After testing, there appeared to be one more crack that needed additional welding. He deflated the tire again and as he was welding on the rim, a spark caught the flammable gas inside the tire on fire and a massive explosion occurred, blinding and maiming him. A tire inflator lawsuit was filed against Radiator Specialty Company, the manufacturer that produced the Puncture seal product under its Gunk Brand. It was determined that this was not the first tire explosion from use of it product and that Radiator Specialty company actually sold a non-flammable, non-explosion formula of Puncture Seal in Canada. At the conclusion of this case in the very last deposition, the president of the company announced that they were discontinuing the manufacturer of the explosion / flammable type of Puncture seal. This case settled in out of court during mediation.

Geo Tracker Rollover - Paraplegia

The driver of the small SUV was rendered a paraplegic after her seat back collapsed on impact in an accident into a ditch and tree. A product liability lawsuit was filed against the General Motors and the used car dealership that sold the vehicle, but failed to properly inspect the seat back hinge that had been repaired instead of being replaced. After the product liability lawsuit was filed, the case settled.

Chevy S10 Truck Rollover – Ejection with Closed Head Injury

A five year old boy suffered traumatic brain injury (TBI)requiring lifelong nursing care after he was ejected through the sun-roof or back glass windshield when the Chevy truck rolled several times. Lawsuit was filed and a confidential settlement was reached.

Mazda Truck Rollover - Roof Collapse Failure – Quadriplegia

Young home health care nurse suffers total paralysis after her pickup truck rolled down off the road into a creek bed and the roof collapsed onto her head and spine causing catastrophic spinal cord compression and spinal fractures to her C4 –C5, rendering her a quadriplegic. This sad case was settled out of court in mediation for a confidential amount.

Jeep Wrangler Rollover – “Roll Cage /Roll Bar” Defect – Head Injury

An Ole Miss college student was seriously injured when her Jeep Wrangler (YJ ) rolled over as she attempted to dodge a dog on the highway. She lost control of her vehicle and it slowly rolled side to side down a hillside. Though she was properly belted in her seat, the “roll bar” of the Jeep Wrangler failed and collapsed onto her head and neck causing a severe closed head injury. According to Chrysler Jeep, the so-called roll cage or rollbar on the Wrangler was not a safety feature nor was it designed to act as a rollover cage for rollover protection system (ROPS), but it was rather a decorative light bar used for accessories, lights, speakers and the D-Ring for the shoulder belts. A Jeep Wrangler rollover lawsuit was filed and later settled for a confidential amount.

Nissan Pickup Truck Rollover

East Texas college student was ejected from bed of pickup during a rollover that resulted when the driver attempted to dodge several deer running across a gravel road. He was rendered a “partial quad”. After many months of intense therapy at The Institute for Rehabilitation and Research (TIRR) and extremely hard work by the client, he was able to regain considerable range of motion and today he is able to driver his own vehicle, skydive and currently he is happily married with a baby daughter and the president of a highly successful medical supply store. A Nissan rollover lawsuit was filed and later settled.

Ford Explorer Rollover and Roof Crush

New Mexico family encountered black ice on the highway in Colorado which caused the driver to lose control of the Ford Explorer and it to roll over. His wife, the front seat belted passenger sustained spinal cord injuries and was rendered a paraplegic from the spinal compression due to severe roof crush on her side of the vehicle. A product liability lawsuit was filed against Ford due to the lack of stability of the Explorer and the weak roof system that caused her paralysis. A lawsuit was filed and later settled.

Toyota Pickup Truck Rollover

Truck rolled over on the highway after encountering black ice. Front seat passenger received spinal cord injuries after roof crushed down on her. The driver of the vehicle walked away with moderate injuries. A Toyota rollover and roof defect lawsuit was filed and settled out of court.

Ford Bronco II Rollover Accident

Young teenage driver near San Antonio, Texas suffered serious facial scarring when her Bronco II rolled over as she attempted to dodge an animal on the highway. A products lawsuit was filed and after many months of discovery and depositions, the case was settled for a confidential amount out of court.

18 Wheeler Truck Wreck - Ford F350 Pickup Truck Rollover – Positional Asphyxia Death

Baylor University professor and his wife were preceding down the road and while attempting a left turn, they were hit by an semi truck that clipped them sending the F350 truck out of control and rolling over. The Ford F350 roof collapsed pinning the driver and causing his death by positional asphyxiation. A lawsuit was filed against the trucking company, its driver and Ford. The Ford F-350 lawsuit was filed due to the weak and defective Ford F 350 roof system that failed and collapsed killing the driver. His wife survived in a small space in the seat and foot well until help the fire department and EMS arrived with the jaws of life. Sadly she was able to do nothing to save husband as he died just feet from her. A lawsuit was filed and settled against all parties.

Toyota Passenger Lap Belt Only Defect – Quadriplegia to Back Seat Passenger

Young woman seated in the back right seat in a Toyota Corolla was rendered a quadriplegic during in a wreck in an construction zone. Her lap belt failed to restrain her upper body, allowing her to be jack-knifed into the back of the seatback in front of her, breaking her neck. The driver and front seat passenger, both wearing shoulder belts walked away without any injury. A lawsuit was filed and settled against Toyota.

Nissan Pathfinder Rollover and Severe Roof Collapse

Washington State driver was rendered a C-4 quadriplegic after he rolls on the highway near an off ramp exit after he lost directional control of his Pathfinder. The Nissan’s roof collapsed onto him causing massive a massive spinal cord injury. A lawsuit was filed against Nissan for failing to manufacturer roof with sufficient strength to withstand a rollover accident. During trial the case settled for an undisclosed amount.

Chevy Suburban Roof Failure – Wrongful Death of Driver

Young man dies in Missouri when his Chevrolet Suburban rolls over and the roof collapses on his head. The massive roof crush of the Surburban went to the top of the driver’s steering wheel and seatback. Nothing else is known about the accident in the middle of the night, as there were no witnesses and the vehicle was found many hours after the accident. A wrongful death lawsuit was filed for the surviving parents and settled out of court.

Toyota Truck Roof Collapse & Rollover – Head Injuries / Death

Toyota Truck rollover on Interstate 10 in kills a driver traveling back from a deer hunting weekend. The roof of his small Toyota truck collapsed onto him. He was pronounced dead at the sc from traumatic head injuries. On behalf of the surviving wife and child, Toyota rollover lawsuit was filed and settled out of court.

Ford Expedition Rollover Kills Passenger North of Austin, Texas

Central Texas mother and daughter were driving down the US 183 when suddenly an animal ran across the roadway causing the driver to instinctively swerve. An Expedition rollover resulted killing the mother seated in the right front passenger seat. The Explorer’s roof collapsed and killed the belted passenger. She was cited for over steering and over correcting as she attempted to regain control of her SUV. A Explorer rollover lawsuit was filed and later settled in Federal Court.

Ford F350 Truck Rollover – Roof Pillar Failure Leaved Driver a Quadriplegic

F-350 truck rollover and accompanying roof collapse on a Utah highway, leaves 6’3” driver a quadriplegic. The Ford F350’s driver, our client, was taken by air ambulance (life flight) to St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise, Idaho where he underwent spinal surgeries, months of extensive treatment and rehabilitation. A product liability lawsuit was filed against Ford Motor Co. and later settled out of court.

Ford Bronco II Rollover – Death to East Texas Driver

SUV rollover accident kills young teenage high school student when she lost control of her SUV after she braked hard and rolled and she was killed. The rollover accident was in an area where many deer are known to cross the highway. Her parents filed a rollover and roof crush lawsuit against Ford and it was later settled out of court.

GMC Van Rollover

Van rollover leaves passenger a partial quadriplegic. The belted front seat passenger weighing less than 160 lbs, was critically injured due to a seat back failure after the seat frame and hinge failed and collapsed. At the scene, our client was medically stabilized by a EMS that was passing by after the rollover. Our client was transported by ambulance to Herman Hospital in Houston and underwent spinal fusion and then months of rehab at TIRR (The Institute for Rehabilitation and Research). Today is able walk and is back playing with his band. A lawsuit against General Motors was filed and settled shortly after the vehicle inspection and GM’s engineers observed and reported on the severe seat back failure.

Ford Explorer Rollover – Weak Roof - Paraplegia

Young high school student near Waco, Texas was rendered a paraplegic when on her way to school when she lost control of her Explorer and it rolled. The roof on the SUV collapsed breaking causing a spinal cord injury. A rollover and crashworthiness lawsuit was filed and later settled in trial.

SUV Rollover on I-10 – Roof Crush - Quadriplegia

SUV driven by his wife rolled over on Interstate 10 on their way back from a trip / vacation to Louisiana rolls, rendering her husband, the front seat belted passenger, a quadriplegic. He had been treated at TIRR, but died shortly after the case had been resolved died in his sleep from multiple complications three years after the rollover. A SUV rollover lawsuit was filed on behalf of his loving wife and was later settled out of court.

Toyota Seat Belt Defect – Retractor / Spool Out Failure – Paralysis

Toyota seat belt lawsuit was filed on behalf of a young man that was paralyzed after a defective seat belt retractor on a Toyota Truck (RN50) failed to hold the occupant coupled to seat and allowed him to impact the door frame during a low speed rollover. The young man was properly seat belted in the seat but the seatbelt webbing spooled out instead of the retractor locking during the rollover accident. A product liability lawsuit was filed against Toyota alleging the seatbelt defect caused him injuries. This case was successfully tried to a jury and later settled for a confidential amount.

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Steven J. Sharp
Public Service Award

Mr. Willis received this award for his work in uncovering the truth behind the 2001 Ford Explorer and Firestone litigation that resulted in millions of tire recalls.

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