Tractor Trailer Tire Failure
A tractor-trailer driver transporting a loaded fertilizer trailer carrying 30,000 lbs of fertilizer suffered a front tire blowout. The tire explosion caused the vehicle to lose control and leave the roadway. As the vehicle traveled across a small ditch on the shoulder of the roadway the trailer broke loose from the tractor running through and over the tractor and the driver. The impact caused a traumatic amputation of both of the driver’s legs, pinned him in the vehicle, and severed the vehicle fuel tank causing a fire. The driver was pulled from the burning wreckage by an eyewitness.
The failure of the tire was traced to defects in the steel belt cord, which affected the tire’s adhesion properties and caused the tire to separate and blowout. After a month-long trial, the jury determined that the tire was defective and returned a $32 million verdict against the tire manufacturer.