Founded in 1888 in Clermont-Ferrand, France, Michelin has expanded rapidly into one of the largest tire manufacturers in the entire world. It owns a variety of subsidiary companies and is represented in the public by Bibendum, the large tire-shaped figure commonly referred to as the “Michelin Man.”
But among all of its progress, Michelin still has seen its fair share of unpleasant moments, often in the form of lawsuits brought by individuals or families of victims injured or killed in car accidents due to defective tires. The following provides an overview of a few of the lawsuits involving Michelin:
Bates et al v. Michelin North America, Inc.
This lawsuit was the result of an accident that occurred on Christmas Day 2008, when a tire on the 2001 GMC Jimmy driven by Johnny Bates came apart, leading to a serious accident. Bates was rendered quadriplegic as a result, and his wife, Patricia Bates, who was in the car at the time, also suffered serious injuries.
In the 2009 lawsuit, the plaintiffs alleged that the defective tire was the underlying cause of the wreck. Michelin ultimately settled the lawsuit for an undisclosed amount.
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Cruz v. Michelin North America, Inc.
The centerpiece of this lawsuit was a tragic accident that killed six and left a 12-year-old boy paralyzed as a result of a spinal cord injury he sustained. The boy, Jesus Guzman, was riding in a Ford F-250 truck in Matamoros, Mexico, when a tire blew out on the truck, causing it to swerve into oncoming traffic and collide with an SUV, killing all six passengers inside of the vehicle. Although lawyers for Michelin claimed that the accident was due to the truck’s bumper having scraped off the top of the tire, the jury ultimately sided with the boy, awarding him $11.96 million.
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Rocha et al v. Michelin North America, Inc.
This case involves another young individual who suffered severe injury due to an accident caused by a defective tire. Rubi Ann Rocha, a 17-year-old girl in Texas, was involved in a rollover accident in a pickup truck, during which she was thrown from the car. As a result of the accident, she was left paralyzed from the chest down. After an investigation, the attorneys for Rocha alleged that a tire defect was present due to a leaky roof in the manufacturing plant, which caused the equipment to produce faulty tires. The jury sided with Rocha, finding Michelin 100 percent liable for the injuries and awarding the girl $41.8 million.
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Defective tire accidents are surprisingly common. And if you have been injured in an accident in Florida due to a faulty tire, the attorneys at Chalik & Chalik are here to help. We can discuss the specifics of your accident and craft a case to ensure you receive the compensation you are due. You can reach us today at 855-529-0269.
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