Pennsylvania

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Over recent months, more reports have surfaced of defective guardrails impaling vehicles and causing serious and fatal injuries to drivers and passengers. Victims and their families have filed lawsuits against Lindsay Corporation, the company that manufactured the X-LITE guardrail end terminals. Besides alleging that the end terminals have a defective design, complaints have also alleged that the guardrails were negligently installed.

Negligent Guardrail Installation Blamed for Serious Injuries

Guardrails are supposed to absorb energy upon impact—usually by “telescoping” inward. When the end terminals don’t perform as intended, whether due to a defective design or negligent installation, the result can be catastrophic for drivers and passengers.

A Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) survey found that installation crews have had a difficult time installing the X-LITE end terminals due to unclear instructions. One lawsuit alleges that Lindsay Corporation failed to “adequately provide proper and clear installation, repair, maintenance, and/or instruction manuals.”

But not all such claims allege that inadequate instructions are to blame for the improper installation. Some have alleged negligence on the part of companies or state departments approving the installation of faulty guardrails, or workers using negligent installation techniques.

Who Is Liable for Injuries Caused by Negligently Installed Guardrails?

When a person is injured due to negligent guardrail installation, the liable party could be a government entity or the company hired to install the guardrail.

One case that went to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court found the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) liable for injuries caused by its negligent decision to install guardrails that already had been deemed as not being “crashworthy.” At issue was the state’s Sovereign Immunity Act, which protects the state from liability for damages in certain negligence claims.

The appellants claimed that PennDOT should have known that the “boxing glove” style guardrails that were installed—which penetrated the appellants’ vehicle upon impact and caused serious injuries—weren’t crashworthy. They also claimed that PennDOT “failed to inspect or correct” the problem.

In cases where otherwise safe guardrails malfunctioned because of negligent installation by the workers themselves, companies contracted to do the work may be held liable through the doctrine of respondeat superior.

Call (877) 544- 5323 to Discuss Your Case with a Guardrail Injury Lawyer Today

At The Law Offices of Richard J. Serpe, PC, we understand that nothing can undo the tragedy of sustaining a serious injury or losing a loved one in a car accident. But by taking legal action against those responsible, you may be able to recover the compensation you need to pay for medical bills, lost income, and other damages.

An experienced guardrail injury attorney at our firm can answer your questions and help you determine the most strategic way to proceed. We have recovered more than $250 million in personal injury and wrongful death cases.

Contact our office via phone or text message at (877) 544- 5323 for a free consultation, or send us a message online. We can come to you if you are unable to come to us.

 

The final results of the Trinity Industries crash tests are in: all eight received passing scores from the Federal Highway Administration. The eight tests utilized guardrails of two different heights, one measuring 27 3/4 inches, one 31 inches.

Critics say the final of the eight tests should have been ruled a failure, as the guardrail severely dented the driver’s side door. Many believe that the Federal Highway Administration has given these test passing grades to cover for the poor job the government did in vetting the material. Some argue that by admitting the guardrails aren’t safe for the road, the administration would be admitting their failure to properly do their jobs. The agency says they will continue to investigate the ET-Plus, as more than 30 states currently have banned the guardrail from future installation.

ABC 13 News Now recently reported that Virginia has not received any application for approval from Trinity Industries to install any more of the ET-Plus guardrails on the Commonwealth’s roads. VDOT, the Virginia Department of Transportation, says more tests will be done to prove the reliability of the ET-Plus. They are also currently accepting bids from companies to remove the problematic guardrails from the roads.

Trinity Industries was fined for defrauding the government by failing to alert regulators to changes in the size of the ET-Plus. A small change in size has reportedly resulted in major product malfunctions, causing severe injuries and even fatalities among crash victims.

Seriously Injured in an Accident Involving a Guardrail?

Our Guardrail Injury Lawyers are currently investigating serious and fatal guardrail accidents related to this potentially dangerous guardrail design. If you or a loved one were injured in an accident with a guardrail, contact our attorneys to discuss your legal options. We offer a free, no obligation, case evaluation – Get Help Now 877-544-5323

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is facing criticism and controversy after deciding to leave potentially unsafe guardrails on their highways. The guardrails – manufactured by Trinity Highway Products – were recently the subject of a $175 million lawsuit in Texas. The suit was brought by a whistleblower guardrail installer. According to testimony, Trinity altered the guardrail design in 2005 without going through proper testing or regulatory channels with the Federal Highway Administration.

The Problem with the Trinity ET-Plus Guardrail

The primary problem with the guardrails is their endcap design. Originally designed to glance off colliding vehicles, the 2005 design change could cause the guardrails to instead spear the vehicle and its passengers. At least one Pennsylvanian lost her foot due to this defect. The original design was seen as effective – including fixing a problem where guardrails sometimes acted as ramps that launched vehicles – and reasons for the redesign are not immediately clear.

PennDOT Not Planning on Removing Guardrails Just Yet

Pennslyvania Guardrail Injury LawyerTrinity Highway Products has stopped shipping the guardrails until “additional testing has been completed,” mandated by federal officials.  Despite this, The Meadville Tribune reports that contrary to the decisions of thirteen other states, PennDOT is not ordering the guardrails gone just yet. The Federal Highway Administration has not also mandated their removal, but is instead requiring further information from states about problems with the guardrails. PennDOT is cooperating with this initiative and is collecting statistics and information on guardrail-related accidents in the state.

Data is not available yet on the number of injuries or deaths caused by the guardrails. In the meantime, over 9,000 of them border Pennsylvania highways.

Seriously Injured in an Accident Involving a Guardrail?

Our Guardrail Injury Lawyers are currently investigating serious and fatal guardrail accidents related to this untested guardrail design. If you or a loved one were injured in an accident with a guardrail, contact our attorneys to discuss your legal options. We offer a free, no obligation, case evaluation – Get Help Now 877-544-5323