A Louisiana district court has instructed the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. to pay $6.73 million in response to the tire explosion death of a Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, garbage truck driver, according to the law firm Kaster Lynch Farrar & Ball. The jury found that Goodyear Tire & Rubber failed to provide adequate warning about both the existence and cause of sidewall zipper failures when inflating an underinflated tire.
The law firm says on Feb. 5, 2014, Elwood Breaux Jr. and a co-worker were inflating a G182 tire after noticing that the tire pressure was low. Breaux was holding the tire upright when the sidewall ruptured. The force of the air escaping from the tire threw him backward, and he sustained internal injuries to his chest and abdomen. Breaux never left the hospital and died from his injuries 28 days later.
In his recent Sept. 10 decision, Judge Michael Clement ruled that Goodyear had not carried out its duty to warn Breaux and co-workers about the tires’ dangers and how to avoid being injured. Clement ordered Goodyear to pay $6.73 million to Breaux’s wife and six children with an additional $481,075 going to the parish for workers’ compensation.
“We are disappointed with the verdict and will appeal,” said James Peate, director of global functions communications for Goodyear.