A church trip turned tragic for a group of young men from Utah after they discovered a flat tire on the right rear wheel of their 1995 Honda Passport. They were about to head back home at the time the flat was noticed in their hotel parking lot. They contacted their insurance and requested roadside assistance to help with the flat. A service was dispatched, and its employee chose to replace the flat tire with the Passport's previously unused 16 year old spare. The spare was a Dunlop Qualifier provided as original equipment on the Passport.
A short time into the trip, the Dunlop Qualifier tire completely peeled apart through what is known as tread/belt separation. The tire failure sent the Passport into a spin that ended in the vehicle rolling over. Two of the Passport's occupants, each only 18, were killed. Two others, 25 and 22, were seriously injured – one sustaining catastrophic spinal injuries that have left him paralyzed from the neck down.
A lawsuit was filed by Rob Ammons on behalf of the parents of the teenagers who were killed and on behalf of the injured young men who survived the crash. Ammons claims both the Qualifier and Passport were defectively designed, manufactured, marketed and tested. Allegations against the tire's manufacturer focus on the tire's lack of durability and safety features made it susceptible to separation failure.
It is alleged that when a rear tire fails, the Passport becomes difficult to control. And should a rollover occur, Ammons claims the Passport is incapable of providing its occupants with appropriate crash protection.
It is also alleged in the lawsuit that although the 16-year-old spare tire had never before been used, the spare tire should never have been placed into service by the roadside assistance service employee. Ammons claims the service failed to train its employee about determining the age of a tire and not placing old tires into service. It is claimed that the employee did not inform or warn the young men about any danger involved in using the old tire that he installed on the Passport.
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, post-collision fires, seat belt defects, airbag defects, SUV rollovers and workplace negligence.