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“I have been prosecuting serious injury and wrongful death cases against trucking companies, auto makers and tire manufacturers for more than 30 years. Our firm maintains this blog to share information and insight on transportation safety issues that continue to arise on our nation’s highways and roads.”

Continental Tire and Ford Sued For Double-Fatality Rollover

The Ammons Law Firm has filed a lawsuit against Continental Tire, Ford and a Ford dealership on behalf of the parents of two young Maryland girls killed in a tragic rollover crash. Along with their mother, the girls were passengers in a 2004 Ford Expedition being driven by their dad when the tread of the SUV’s right rear tire peeled off. The Expedition was sent out of control by the sudden tire failure and rolled over.

The tire that failed was a Continental Contitrac SUV provided with the Expedition as its spare. In the wrongful death lawsuit, Rob Ammons claims the tire was defectively designed and manufactured by Continental. Allegations against Continental include that the tire’s belts were not properly aligned during the building process, that features known to prevent tread separation failures were not incorporated into the tire’s design, and that adequate warnings and information regarding how age negatively affects a tire’s durability and safety did not accompany the tire.

According to Ammons, “Even a properly designed and manufactured tire with good tread depth can be unsafe because its internal components have deteriorated as a result of age alone. A spare that looks pristine is often completely unfit for placing into service.”

With respect to the Expedition, it is alleged in the lawsuit that the vehicle’s handling and stability characteristics lead to loss of directional control in the event of a rear tire failure. According to the lawsuit, the Expedition is not equipped with proven accident prevention technology in the form of an electronic stability control system (ESC) capable of returning a vehicle to its intended path following a loss of control. The Expedition’s poor handling and stability as well as its lack of ESC caused this rollover. Ammons also claims Ford designed and manufactured the Expedition with a weak roof that collapses in a rollover, placing its occupants at unnecessary risk of extra injuries.

“When Ford built this family’s Expedition,” Ammons says, “it had known for years that its light trucks handled poorly following failure of a rear tire and that their roofs would collapse under the weight of these vehicles. Ford knew how to make the Expedition safer on both scores, but it failed to do so in order to save money.”

The Ford dealership who sold the Expedition is included in the lawsuit because it failed to advise or warn of the vehicle’s inadequate handling characteristics, lack of ESC, the effects of tire aging, and for what period of time the vehicle’s spare could be safely placed into service.

Rob Ammons is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, in addition to being Board Certified in Civil Law by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. Rob Ammons’ law practice, The Ammons Law Firm, is located in Houston, Texas.

The Ammons Law Firm’s practice is exclusively personal injury law, handling such cases as: tire defects, oil rig explosions, truck accidents, plant explosions, refinery accidents, wrongful death, post-collision fires, seat belt defects, airbag defects, SUV rollovers and workplace negligence.

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