Ed Rowan, Esq. of Taylor Martino, P.C. recently met with an expert engineer, Dr. Brian Pfeifer of BEC Consulting about his extensive experience investigating potential defective designs and installation of guardrails and barriers along highways and interstates. His specialty is roadside safety and analysis of maintenance of traffic issues.
The sole purpose of guardrails and barriers is life safety – to protect us from a hazard that is on the other side of the guardrail or barrier in case of a crash such as trees, embankments, and other structures. All across the United States, there currently exists a potentially defective end cap installed on guardrails (called the guardrail terminal) – this is an endcap called the “ET-Plus” manufactured by Trinity Industries. This end cap does not collapse when a car impacts it, but rather has the potential to cut the car into pieces and the rails have speared through the driver or passenger-side doors, into seats and through the vehicle floors. This particular guardrail endcap has been the subject of a recent $680 million verdict in Texas and the company faces at least 40 product liability lawsuits nationwide over its ET-Plus product.
A recent study conducted by the University of Alabama-Birmingham concluded that a redesigned version of the ET-Plus guardrail system places motorists at a higher risk of serious injury or fatality than its previous version. The study examined eight years of data for injury and death crashes in Ohio and Missouri involving five different guardrail end terminal designs. The study found that the ET-Plus design was 3.95 times more likely to produce a fatality than its predecessor, the ET-2000 design. In addition, the ET-Plus guardrail was 1.45 times more likely to produce a severe injury. The study was funded by The Safety Institute and the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission.
If you were seriously injured in a crash and there was a guardrail or barrier involved, there could very well be a defectively designed and/or installed guardrail or barrier that did not serve its one and only purpose – to protect you.
Please contact Ed Rowan at (800) 785-8755 or at email@example.com for a free and confidential consultation.