On November 1, 2016, Hannah Eimers, 17, was driving her father's 2000 Volvo S80 on Interstate 75 near Niota, Tennessee when the car went off the road, traveled into the median, and hit a Lindsay X-LITE guardrail end terminal on the driver’s side. Instead of the guardrail telescoping back on impact or re-directing the vehicle, as it should, the guardrail end terminal penetrated the car before impaling and killing Hannah.
On October 26, 2016, just six days before Hannah was killed, the Tennessee Department of Transportation’s (TDOT) removed the Lindsay X-LITE guardrail end terminal from its qualified products list, based upon concerns for potential long-term performance issues of the terminal’s telescoping W-beam slider assembly friction-reduction type system.
The decision to remove the Lindsay X-LITE guardrail end terminal from the state’s qualified products list meant that TDOT would not replace or install new Lindsay X-LITE guardrail terminals. Unfortunately, over 1,000 X-LITE guardrail terminals were allowed to remain on the roads across the state. The same X-LITE guardrail had already been involved in at least three other fatal crashes in Tennessee at the time of Hannah’s death.
Later in 2016, TDOT made the decision to remove the guardrail end terminals entirely from roads where the speed limit is greater than 45 mph. The TDOT has started the process, but it is unclear how long such a massive overhaul project will take.
Many legislators around the country have begun to initiate laws to remove the Lindsay X-LITE guardrails from their roadways. In fact, on May 16, 2017, Cohen Milstein’s Poorad Razavi traveled with Hannah’s father, Stephen Eimers to Albany, New York, the state capital of New York, for a joint press conference with several New York State Senators and Congressional members to address a proposed bill that would completely ban the Lindsay X-LITE from New York and develop a plan to remove the product from state roadways.
Cohen Milstein has been at the forefront of guardrail safety around the U.S. The firm focused extensively on the Trinity guardrail issue and the dangers it posed to travelers. Now, Cohen Milstein is taking the lead on the X-LITE guardrail defect.
"Sadly this is a severe warning to the motoring public that a safety device that is designed to protect, may actually kill," stated Cohen Milstein's Theodore J. Leopold.
Questions and Contact Information
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