January 31, 2018

Two more lawsuits were filed Wednesday against the manufacturers and installers of an allegedly defective guardrail end that has been tied to at least 11 deaths across the country.

In a lawsuit filed in Spartanburg County in South Carolina, the family of Charlotte Blankenship alleges a Lindsay X-LITE guardrail end malfunctioned when struck, causing it to impale the SUV driven by her husband, Ronald.

Charlotte Blankenship, who was in the passenger seat, died in the April 29, 2017 crash. 

“What is most tragic about her death was that she was not the first and it therefore may have been preventable," Blankenship's son, Chad, said in a news release.

A separate lawsuit filed in Hamilton County in Tennessee details a crash on June 30, 2017, in which Joyce Moyer crashed into an X-LITE guardrail end that pierced her vehicle. Moyer's injuries required a partial amputation of her left leg, the release states.

Allegations of negligence

Wednesday's lawsuits follow three similar lawsuits filed by the families of four X-LITE crash victims in Tennessee. All of the families are represented by the law firm Cohen Milstein.

The lawsuits claim the creators and manufacturers of the X-LITE — Valmont Industries, Lindsay Corporation and their subsidiaries — failed to design a safe product, then didn't disclose "known problems and defects."

The lawsuits also allege that the companies that installed the guardrails did so improperly.

The result, the lawsuits contend, is that the guardrails' pieces failed to telescope, or slide into each other, when struck. Most guardrails are designed to telescope to absorb the impact of a crash and prevent the metal end from skewering the vehicle.

The full article can be accessed here.