Goodyear Responds to Personal Injury Lawsuit Settlement
By Chris Kramer
Famed tire company Goodyear recently claimed that its lawyers forced the company to settle a recent personal injury lawsuit filed against them instead of taking the case to a jury trial.
The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company and Goodyear Dunlop Tires North America filed a lawsuit May 5 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Perkins Coie, Jeanne M. Cullen and Matthew J. Gehringer, claiming that the three attorneys were negligent in their handling of a 10-count injury complaint brought against them in June 2008, according to the Madison St. Clair Record.
Darla and Mike Green filed the injury lawsuit against the tire company, and claimed within that they were injured in a motorcycle accident because of faulty tires on a Harley Davidson motorcycle the couple was riding with other bike enthusiasts. One of the other people the couple were riding with noted during a stop before the accident that she could smell burnt rubber and that the rear tire looked low.
The Greens’ suit further claims that while near Lafayette County in Missouri, the Greens’ rear tire blew out, the motor cycle skidded on its side before crashing, and both Darla and Mike were injured, according to the Record.
Darla Green was hospitalized for about a month after the accident. She complained of a lasting brain injury, including loss of vision in both eyes, as well as a torn rotator cuff, shoulder problems, anxiety and depression since the accident.
Michael Green turned down any medical treatment after the accident, but then underwent two surgeries for a knee injury, according to the Record.
Goodyear claimed in counter to the lawsuit that the couple did not act within the guidelines of safe motorcycle riding, and that led to the accident.
Goodyear alleged that the couple was only wearing t-shirts and plastic helmets that feature warning labels stating the helmets are for novelty, not endorsed by the U.S. Department of Transportation, and that they should “Be used at your own risk.”
Goodyear also claimed the weight on the motorcycle was well past a safe limit by over 100 pounds, with the weight of the two passengers combined with the weight of their belongings. The company also claimed that the tire that had deflated had worn out over three quarters of the tread.
The company was originally going to have testimony from Ian Willetts, senior manager of the Buffalo-based tire plant. Willetts had inspected the deflated tire, according to the Record.
However, Goodyear’s attorneys did not file a motion for a jury trial, and they lost their chance to have Willetts’ testimony, which has led Goodyear to file the suit against their former attorneys.