On June 3, 2019, Cohen Milstein attorneys, Theodore J. Leopold, Leslie M. Kroeger, and Poorad Razavi, filed the first amended complaint in Eimers v. Valmont Industries aka Lindsay Corporation, a wrongful death and product liability lawsuit in federal court in Tennessee on behalf of the family of Hannah Eimers against the Lindsay Corporation and related entities.
In the amended complaint, Plaintiff alleges that the X-LITE’s product defects can be traced back to its deficient development and testing process and that evidence has established that Lindsay was using an unfinished prototype design, which was still in the “R&D phase,” in its federal National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) 350 certification testing process.
On Tuesday, October 24, 2017, on behalf of Hana Eimers family, Cohen Milstein filed a wrongful death and product liability lawsuit in Tennessee state court against the Lindsay Corporation and related entities for its negligence design of the X-LITE guardrail end-terminal system.
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. While TDOT has started the process, it is unclear how long such a massive overhaul project will take.
Many legislators around the country have begun to initiate process 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.
The original complaint was named Eimers v. Valmont et al., Case No. 2017-cv-383, in the Circuit Court of McMinn County at Athens, Tennessee.
The operative complaint is named Eimers v. Valmont et al., Case No. 1:19-cv-00044-TRM-SKL, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Tennessee.
Questions and Contact Information
If you have questions about this case, guardrails, highway safety, or other defective products in general, please call Mr. Leopold or Mrs. Kroeger at 561-515-1400.
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