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Sumter Tire Defect Lawyer

Once upon a time, workers at one factory built automobiles. Today, they collect parts made in different parts of the world to assemble automobiles. These parts, especially these tires, often do not work like they should, or they were poorly made. So, the stage is set for defective product-related car crashes. The Sumter tire defect lawyers at the Stanley Law Group obtain the compensation these victims, and their families, need and deserve.

Product defect cases are extremely complex, mostly because such actions are usually mass tort actions. If the tires on one make and model of car or truck were defective, the tires on all other vehicles in that lot were probably defective as well. Class action and MDL (Multidistrict Litigation) torts usually settle for very large amounts of money. But the settlement proceeds are not divided equally, and some victims feel like they do not have a strong voice in the process. These things underscore the need for a strong-minded attorney, regardless of the litigation forum. Victims cannot sit back, let someone else do the work, and expect to be rewarded.

Sumter Tire Defect Lawyers and Kinds of Defective Tires

Defective tires could injure hundreds of thousands of people. Defective Bridgestone tires on Ford SUVs killed or seriously injured about 700 people in the United States alone between about 1990 and 2000. These tires suffered from two major product defects:

  • Design Defect: Some Bridgestone tires almost literally fell apart at the seams. Michelin developed the currently-use steel-belted radial tire design in 1946. Automobiles have advanced by leaps and bounds since then. The 1946 design simply could not support the weight and speed of large and fast modern SUVs.
  • Manufacturing Defect: Ford and Firestone/Bridgestone were quick to blame operating temperature, labor difficulties, and pretty much anyone and anything else for the problem. That approach might work in the court of public opinion. But in a court of law, manufacturers are responsible for product safety on the assembly line, during transit, and in pre-retail storage.

The resulting financial windfall for victims couldn’t erase the pain of a wrongful death or catastrophic (life-threatening) injury, but quite frankly, it helped. Ford’s own financial statements indicate that it spent $590 million to settle personal injury and class action lawsuits. Firestone set aside $800 million to handle lawsuits related to the recalled tires.390

Possible Defenses

Despite the strict liability rule, the blame-shifting defense occasionally holds up in court, especially if a third party, like a driver, was involved.

Frequently, tire manufacturers blame the driver, instead of the tire, for a crash. They argue that a separate cause, like alcohol intoxication, was the primary factor, and the defective tire was a contributing factor. Attorneys must anticipate this defense and collect evidence, such as witness statements, that refutes it.

The unforeseeable misuse doctrine is a related defense in South Carolina. However, it only applies in limited situations.

Under-inflating a tire, over-inflating a tire, and using the wrong kind of tire are examples of foreseeable misuses. All ladders say don’t use the top step, but people use it anyway. An unforeseeable tire misuse is something like putting bicycle tires on a Ford Explorer.

Connect With a Detail-Oriented Sumter County Lawyer

Injury victims are entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced Sumter defective tire lawyer, contact the Stanley Law Group. The sooner you reach out to us, the sooner we start working for you.

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