— A Goodyear tire lawsuit has ended with a $33 million verdict handed down by a Texas jury following a trial over the death of Ramiro Munoz, a teacher and city manager of Carrizo Springs, Texas.
According to the lawsuit, Munoz was killed in 2013 when his vehicle was hit head-on by a cement truck equipped with a Goodyear G286A "Super Single" truck tire that blew out.
During the three-week trial, the jury was told how the cement truck would have never crushed Munoz if Goodyear would have properly manufactured the truck tire which allegedly had adhesion defects and steel belts the wrong size and off-center.
Those defects allegedly caused the separated tread that sent the cement truck careening out of control.
According to attorneys for the family, Mr. Munoz couldn't avoid the collision once the left tire on the cement truck suffered the catastrophic tread separation.
According to the jury ruling, the death was 90 percent caused by a manufacturing defect in the G286A super-duty tire manufactured in 2009 at Goodyear's Dansville, Virginia, tire assembly plant. Attorneys claim Goodyear neglected its safety responsibilities to meet production goals to increase profits.
The Goodyear G286A tire lawsuit was heard in the District Court for the 365th Judicial District of Dimmit County, Texas.
The verdict is another legal blow against the tire maker that allegedly has a history of settling cases that are then kept confidential. Based on accusations made by the Center for Auto Safety, Goodyear conceals known dangers of certain tires to prevent the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration from knowing the facts.
Even when the government opened an investigation into alleged safety problems with Goodyear G159 motorhome tires, safety regulators admitted the tire company claimed most of the details were confidential. This position was held by Goodyear even though one lawsuit claimed nearly 100 people were killed and injured due to failures of G159 tires.
In another lawsuit filed after a serious RV crash was blamed on a blown G159 tire, Goodyear admitted it withheld data that showed the tires got too hot on vehicles driving highway speeds.
And in a separate Goodyear tire lawsuit, a Michigan man won his case after a former Goodyear employee testified workers were pushed to get tires out the assembly plant doors. The Michigan jury found Goodyear negligent in its production of a Pathfinder All-Terrain tire that blew out and left the Nissan driver paralyzed.