Trinity Highway Products

Posts Tagged With ‘Trinity Highway Products’

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is awaiting results from federally mandated crash test results of the ET-Plus guardrail. The guardrail model has made headlines recently for its alleged defectiveness. Kentucky is one of thirty states to temporarily ban its installation.

The ET-Plus guardrail was the subject of a lawsuit brought against its manufacturer, Dallas-based Trinity Highway Products. Trinity was found guilty of defrauding the government by reducing the size of the guardrail head without conducting the proper testing. This untested model was installed and used for over two and a half years. Further government tests are pending.

The issue with the guardrail is in its head. Normally, a guardrail will crumple to absorb the impact of a colliding vehicle. In the case of the ET-Plus, the guardrail fails to do this and can therefore impale the vehicle, causing injury or death to its occupants.

Maysville, Kentucky’s Ledger Independent reports that the Kentucky Transportation is awaiting the test results before removing the guardrails. Their removal, says a KTC Spokesman, is a potential logistical and financial problem. Guardrail models can be very similar, so much so that even Trinity’s own ET-2000 – a model without any reported problems – is often indistinguishable. The KTC expressed intent to inventory the guardrails as a result of the court case, but removal could take several million dollars and significant amounts of time.

Compounding the problem is that KTC does not buy the guardrails directly, instead working through contractors who bid with the Cabinet. Contractors may also be required for their removal, given the project’s scope.

In the meantime, no new ET-Plus guardrails are being installed in the state.

Do You Need A Guardrail Lawyer? – Get Help Now

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, Free Case Evaluation 877-544-5323

Two years ago, a man from Lake County, Florida, swerved to avoid hitting an animal in the road. The split second decision sent his pickup truck careening into a guardrail.

It also cost his passenger a leg.

WTFTV 9 reports that the rail malfunctioned and impaled the pickup truck, slicing the passenger’s leg down to the bone. Injuries were so severe that the leg had to be amputated, and the man is still struggling to recover.

Highway guardrails are designed to crumple in the event of an impact. When a vehicle hits, the structure crumples to absorb the force of the blow. In this case, the guardrail instead remained stiff and pierced the vehicle. Following the case, the man’s lawyer found that this may be a problem across the state. The Florida Department of Transportation has apparently been using inmates to repair the guardrails.

There are two problems with the guardrails: first, incorrect parts were used to replace them. Second, workers installed the parts incorrectly. To make matters worse, the guardrail was reinstalled improperly again after the accident.

Though not named in this case, 14 other guardrail-related deaths around the country have been linked to guardrails from Trinity Highway Products. These guardrails malfunction in a similar fashion due to an unapproved design change, shrinking the metal at the end from five inches to four.

The guardrail model in question – the ET-Plus – was recently approved for retesting.

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

After months upon months of litigation, rumors, and negotiation, the Federal Highway Administration has approved a retesting program for the ET-Plus guardrail. The guardrail, which has been suspected of being unsafe for some time, has recently been banned from installation in nearly thirty states out of concern for its safety.

The problem with the guardrails stemmed from a redesign in 2005. The rail head – the part on the front of most highway guardrails, distinctively painted with black and yellow stripes – is designed to slide along the guardrail, pushing the main structure to the side. A small channel behind the head was narrowed, say federal officials, which could cause the design to jam and the guardrail to piece the vehicle, injuring or even killing its passengers.

A whistleblower alleged that these changes were made without consulting the federal government. A jury in October agreed, ordering Trinity Highway Products to pay $175 million in fraud damages. These damages could be tripled under federal law. Testimony revealed that tests conducted at the time of the changes failed unanimously. Trinity insists these tests were merely experiments.

According to the New York Times, The Federal Highway Administration has ruled that the guardrails may be retested under old standards, since they were originally approved at that time. This has drawn backlash from politicians and from victims involved in the crashes who claim that the tests are too lenient. Another potential issue is that many drivers hit the guardrail at a slight angle, rather than straight on as will be tested.

For now, the guardrails have been re-approved for federal reimbursement when states install them. However, Trinity is no longer selling the product until tests are completed.

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

Oklahoma, along with numerous other states, has now banned a controversial guardrail end from being installed on its highways. The guardrail end – Dallas-based Trinity Highway Products’ ET-PLUS model – has been blamed for numerous serious and fatal motor vehicle accidents. At press time, News On 6 in Tulsa reported that Colorado, Massachusetts, Missouri and Oregon had also banned the product from installation.

The issue with the guardrail endcaps is in their ability to absorb impact. A standard guardrail is supposed to crumple when a vehicle collides with it, spreading the force of the blow through the structure .Trinity’s ET-PLUS model can instead malfunction and impale the vehicle, causing injury or even death to passengers.

In October, a whistleblower claimed that this defect came from changes made to the endcap over a decade ago. These changes were made without proper testing or notifying the Federal Highway Administration. Trinity, however, insists that they have maintained testing standards since introducing the guardrail system in 2000.

Despite these claims by the company, they lost a case in Texas that forced them to pay $175 million in damages. A judge could alter the amount, and the False Claims Act could potentially triple it. The Federal Highway Administration has demanded that Trinity create a plan for retesting the guardrails. At stake are federal subsidies, paid to states for installing the approved guardrail systems

As for the situation in Oklahoma, an ODOT spokesperson stated that while there are currently no plans to remove existing guardrails, new ET-PLUSes will not be installed until their safety is verified.

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

The Ohio Department of Transportation came under the microscope amidst a flurry of controversy around ET-PLUS guardrails, manufactured by Dallas-based Trinity Highway Products. The agency recently joined the list of 35 states in removing the ET-PLUS from their list of approved products, following a federal investigation. This does not constitute a plan for removing existing guardrails from Ohio highways, and appears at odds with rhetoric coming from the ODOT.

The entire controversy began in 2012, when manufacturer Trinity Highway Products was sued by a whistleblower guardrail installer. The whistleblower claimed that Trinity made changes to their ET-PLUS without consulting the federal government or conducting required tests. These changes reportedly came in 2005.  A jury found Trinity guilty in October 2014, and damages continue to mount.

The changes had potentially unforeseen consequences, according to a study by the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Headed by Dr. Kevin Schrum, researchers compared data from the ET-PLUS against the previous ET-2000, using Missouri and Ohio as sources. The study found that the ET-PLUS put drivers at a higher risk in the event of a collision. In Ohio alone, there were 60 “deadly and serious injury” crashes, five of which resulted in death. Four of those involved the ET-PLUS guardrail end.

FOX19 Cincinnati investigation revealed that ODOT director Jerry Wray has “no evidence” of any malfunctions with the ET-PLUS guardrail end terminal. This is clearly contrary to the findings of the study, and indeed an ODOT spokesman said the data did not exist.

The Federal Highway Administration ordered Trinity to submit a plan for performing new crash tests for the ET-PLUS by October 31st. It is not yet known whether Trinity agreed to perform the tests or when they will.

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

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