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.
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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