A guardrail manufacturer created a product whose design flaws led to one woman’s death and another’s permanent disfigurement, according to two lawsuits filed Wednesday.
The lawsuits filed in South Carolina and Tennessee accuse the Omaha, Nebraska-based Lindsay Corporation of negligence in the design of X-LITE guardrails. Instead of telescoping to absorb impact when vehicles hit them, the guardrails pierced through vehicles, killing one woman and injuring another so severely she had to have a leg amputated, according to the complaints.
In April 2017, a woman died in Spartanburg County, South Carolina, after the SUV her husband was driving on Interstate 26 went off the side of the road and hit a guardrail. Instead of absorbing the crash’s impact, as designed, beams from the rail were allowed to “pierce through the GMC’s exterior and frame,” puncturing all the way through to the backseat, on the passenger side.
Charlotte Blankenship suffered “immediate, horrible, and agonizing pain, severe damage to her internal organs, internal bleeding” and ultimately died, according to the lawsuit.
Several months later, a similar crash in Tennessee led to injuries so severe that driver Joyce Moyer had to have her left leg amputated, according to her lawsuit against Lindsay.
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