September 11, 2018, PLLR News | The American Association For Justice

September 11, 2018, PLLR News

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Tire explosion leads to cement truck driver’s catastrophic injuries

photo of cement mixer truck

The plaintiff, whose injuries led to quadriplegia, sued the tire manufacturer, alleging that the tire was defective in that it lacked adequate component adhesion and had a thin inner liner that was far below the industry standard, which allowed air to migrate. The jury awarded more than $37.8 million. Benedict v. Hankook Tire Co.
 

Robert Benedict, 50, was operating a cement truck when its right front tire exploded suddenly. This caused the truck to veer to the right, become airborne, and flip over. Benedict suffered catastrophic injuries, including cardiac arrest, a complete spinal cord injury at C5, 12 fractured ribs, and a ruptured spleen. He underwent eight surgeries and was in a coma for a month. He now suffers from quadriplegia and requires 24-hour care. Benedict incurred more than $2.05 million in medical expenses. He had earned approximately $35,000 annually.

Benedict sued Hankook Tire Co., alleging its tire was defective in that it lacked adequate component adhesion and had a thin inner liner that was far below the 2-millimeter industry standard, which allowed air to migrate.

The jury awarded more than $37.8 million. The court granted remittitur, reducing the award by approximately $67,000 to reflect a math error.

Citation: Benedict v. Hankook Tire Co., No. 3:17-CV-00109-REP (E.D. Va. July 2018).

Plaintiff counsel: AAJ members Jonathan E. Halperin, Glen Allen, Va., and Jay Halpern, Miami.

Plaintiff experts: William McKinley, physiatry, Richmond, Va.; Craig Lichtblau, physiatry, North Palm Beach, Fla.; Frederick Raffa, economics, Orlando, Fla.; and Davis Southwell, tires, Adelaide, S. Australia.

Defense expert: Joseph Grant, tires, Matthews, N.C.