Lindsay Corporation, manufacturer of the X-LITE highway guardrail, is facing lawsuits for negligence after 11 deaths have been attributed to its product. Last week, two lawsuits were filed in Tennessee and South Carolina, both alleging that the company’s guardrails fail to protect motorists involved in collisions due to their defective design.
According to the lawsuits, the “end terminal” of the X-LITE guardrail, which rounds out the sharp edges at either end of the guardrail, is the defective component. During a collision, this end component allegedly fails to “telescope,” or slide properly into the rail line. By reducing the force of impact in a collision, the process of telescoping can prevent the guardrail beams from penetrating a vehicle and seriously injuring or killing its occupants. Unfortunately, the X-LITE’s end terminal hasn’t telescoped properly during multiple collisions. And several people have died as a result.
Last April, Tennessee vowed to replace about 1,700 X-LITE end rails. But such a large undertaking doesn’t come cheap. Removing and replacing these end rails is projected to cost the state of Tennessee several million dollars. And although the defective end rails are installed across 29 states, about 80 percent are installed in Maryland, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. A MA defective products attorney can help you recover damages if you’ve been injured by a faulty or dangerous product.
Types of Defects Under Product Liability Law
Thousands of people are injured or killed by defective products every year. Many decide to seek compensation for their injuries by bringing a defective product lawsuit against the manufacturer under product liability law. A product may be considered defective if it malfunctions during proper use. The three types of defects under product liability law are:
- Design Defect – These flaws occur before the product is even manufactured. For example, a company designing a playground system could accidentally design a slide to be too short. Let’s say the manufacturer (a separate company) develops the playground equipment based on the faulty design. Children keep getting injured when they fall from the slide. In such a case, the design firm alone may be liable. But the manufacturer may also be on the hook; if they specialize in playground equipment, a judge might determine that the manufacturer should have noticed the short slide.
- Manufacturing Defect – These flaws occur occur during the manufacturing process. The design is good, but the product becomes flawed during development. For example, if the slide in the above example is designed properly but a broken mold causes the bottom edge to be sharp, this would be a manufacturing defect.
- Marketing Defects – When a product is properly designed and manufactured, injuries can still occur because of marketing defects. These flaws occur in the advertising process or due to faulty or misleading labeling. If a certain medication interacts with another medication but lacks a warning label with this information, injuries could occur. This would be an example of a marketing defect.