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.