A jury awarded a tire-tread separation accident victim more than $55 million, her mother more than $5.5 million, and her father $1 million after finding that tire manufacturer Continental General Tire’s product caused the 1996 rollover accident that led to Cynthia Lampe’s catastrophic injury. Brian Panish and Adam Shea of Panish Shea & Boyle LLP represented Lampe, who sustained a spinal cord injury that caused her to become paralyzed and wheelchair-confined. While the jury did not find a design defect led to the tire tread separating, it did determine that the manufacturing process used to produce the tire was defective, and thus led to causing the car accident.
On June 26, 1996, Lampe was driving her Ford Taurus from Los Angeles to Las Vegas when the tread on the left rear tire of her vehicle separated, causing the motorist to lose control of the car, crash into an embankment, and rollover. While the defense argued that the tread separation was the result of some sort of roadway impact that occurred as many as 1,500 miles prior to the accident taking place, the jury failed to agree that the tread separation was caused by anything but a manufacturing defect. As a result of the accident, Lampe is now a quadriplegic dependent on others to perform basic tasks for her.
Tire Firm Assessed Damages in Crash
A jury orders Continental General to pay $55 million for a defect that caused a rollover. The verdict is believed to be the largest involving tread-separation failure.