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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.”

Claims Settled Against Bridgestone and Ford After Fatal Oklahoma Crash

Rob Ammons has successfully negotiated the settlement of a wrongful death claim against Bridgestone and Ford on behalf of an Oklahoma mother whose son was killed in a crash. The fatal accident occurred when a Bridgestone-manufactured tire positioned at the right front position of a Ford Excursion suffered a tread separation. The sudden tire disablement caused the vehicle to leave the road where it then struck two trees, killing the driver.

In her wrongful death claim, the grieving mother alleged that the tire that failed was among hundreds of thousands of Steeltex Radial tires recalled after a government investigation revealed that they were experiencing sidewall failures, blowouts, unexplained loss of pressure and tread separations at a high rate. Bridgestone designed and manufactured the tire, and Ford chose the Steeltex Radial as the original equipment tires for its Excursion SUVs.

Inspection of the failed tire revealed that its rubber components had not properly bonded to each other – a manufacturing defect. According to Ammons, there were signs that air and moisture were introduced into the tire and that old materials were used to build the tire, both of which prevented it from being durable. Ammons also claimed that the tire’s design was defective. Specifically, it was Ammons’ contention that the tire had an insufficient inner liner component (which allowed the air and moisture to permeate the tire’s belt package) and lacked a fully nylon cap ply (a feature proven to reduce tread separation failures).

In addition to Bridgestone and Ford’s liability in connection with the defective Steeltex Radial tire, Ammons made an additional claim against Ford related to its design of the Excursion’s braking system. According to Ammons, this SUV was designed with an ABS system that does not adequately protect against wheel lockup in emergency situations. The SUV was also equipped with “Hydroboost,” a feature designed to restrict the power assist to the steering under moderate to heavy braking, sending most of the power to the brakes instead. The diminished steering capability available to the driver in this case following the tire disablement resulted in his inability to avoid leaving the road as well as the fatal collision with the trees.

“This mother has been through hell, and I was glad to have been able to get her some justice through settling with Bridgestone and Ford without filing a lawsuit and putting her through a trial.”

The Ammons Law Firm practices personal injury law natoinwide, including cases involving: tire defects, oil rig explosions, truck accidents, plant explosions, refinery accidents, wrongful death, post-collision fires, seat belt defects, seatback defects, airbag defects, SUV rollovers, and workplace negligence.

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