Law360, New York (June 28, 2017, 5:53 PM EDT) -- The families of three people killed in 2016 after their cars hit highway guardrails slapped the guardrail manufacturer and the company that installed them with wrongful death suits in Tennessee state court Wednesday, alleging that the guardrails were defective and improperly installed.
The two suits, brought by the families of Jacob Davison and Lauren Beuttel and Wilbert Byrd, claim that the manufacturers of the X-Lite guardrail system — Valmont Industries, Lindsay Corp. and their subsidiaries — were defectively designed and made. Instead of the guardrail terminals “telescoping” to absorb the impact of the collision, the families claim that the guardrails pierced the cars and struck Davison, Beuttel and Byrd.
The families also claim that Cumberland Guardrail Inc., which contracted with Tennessee to install the guardrails, didn’t correctly install the guardrails because Lindsay Corp. didn’t provide adequate instructions. Nevertheless, the suits allege that Cumberland didn’t exercise reasonable care to ensure the guardrails were properly installed and secured.
“The inaction of officials at the Federal Highway Administration, which is tasked with ensuring the safety of our nation’s roads, is simply unacceptable and contradicts its obligations to the public,” Ted Leopold of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll, who represents the families, said in a statement. “The deaths of these victims and others across the country should and must compel FHWA and the Lindsay Corporation to act quickly in order to prevent further tragedies.”
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