If you or a loved one suffered a serious injury after crashing to an ET-Plus guardrail end terminal manufactured by Trinity Industries then you could be eligible for substantial compensation. The design defects of Trinity Industries’ ET-Plus end terminals have caused catastrophic injuries to drivers including broken bones, severed limbs, brain trauma, and even death.
The attorneys at the Cochran Firm’s Washington, D.C. office are actively investigating claims related to injuries caused by ET-Plus end terminals manufactured by Trinity Industries. We offer free, prompt, and confidential case evaluations for guardrail injuries. Please contact us and learn your legal rights.
What is an ET-Plus end terminal guardrail?
The ET-Plus guardrail end terminal developed by Texas based Trinity Industries is a protective system installed at the end of highway guardrails. End terminals are supposed to absorb the impact of a head-on car crash. You may have seen these guardrail end terminals marked with yellow and black stripes while traveling along the highway. The original ET-Plus system developed in 1999 is credited with saving thousands of lives and could withstand the impact of a vehicle traveling 62 miles per hour. The ET-Plus guardrail end terminal is supposed to absorb the impact of a crashing vehicle, forcing the guard rail to ribbon away from the vehicle. The newly designed ET-Plus guardrails, however, do not ribbon away.
What are the dangers of the ET-Plus guardrail end terminal?
Even though the original Trinity ET-Plus guardrail end terminal performed as designed, Trinity Industries decided to make changes to the system in 2005. Trinity Industries initially had its design modifications approved by federal authorities. However, Trinity Industries made additional design changes. These changes were not approved by federal authorities. With the new unauthorized design, Trinity Industries shaved off one inch of metal from a key component, drastically changing the performance of the ET-Plus guardrail end terminal. The changes made have caused the guardrails to lock up and spear through the vehicle, rather than ribbon away as intended to, causing drivers to suffer severe injuries such as loss of limbs or being impaled by the guardrails themselves.
In April, 2014 a player for the San Francisco 49ers football team was killed when his vehicle flipped over after it struck the end terminal of a Trinity guardrail system. Internal company documents show that Trinity Industries saved $2 for every guardrail it manufactured with the changes it made.
Whistleblower comes out about dangers of Trinity guardrails
In 2011, Joshua Harman alerted investigators in Texas to documents showing Trinity Industries had made changes to its ET-Plus guardrail system after being approved by regulators. As a result of Harman’s whistleblower lawsuit, a Texas jury ordered Trinity Industries to pay $175 million in damages for misleading safety authorities. Trinity Industries stated it would no longer ship the ET-Plus guardrail end terminals as a result of the verdict.
Safety regulators in Virginia have ordered a removal of ET-Plus guardrail system from all highways in the state. Thirty other states are reviewing the ET-Plus systems in their states and may make similar changes.
How do I file a Trinity guardrail lawsuit?
Contact the experienced team of personal injury attorneys at the Cochran Firm’s Washington, D.C. office for a free case review. Our consultations are free, prompt, and confidential. When you have your case handled by our seasoned attorneys, you will received the special, individualized representation that you deserve. We have the resources of a large, national law firm and will fight hard to get you the help you need.
If you were seriously injured by a Trinity ET-Plus guardrail, call us at 202-682-5800. Because deadlines apply, please contact us at your earliest convenience.