HILLSBORO, Mo.-Purcell Tire & Rubber Co. has agreed to pay $1.25 million to a Missouri truck driver who was injured after one of his retreaded tires exploded into his face. The settlement is part of a $4 million judgment a Jefferson County jury awarded David Boyer in a case originally filed against both Purcell and Bandag Inc.
Because Purcell settled before the trial's end, Bandag will be responsible for the remaining $2.75 million, pending an appeal of the ruling.
Mr. Boyer was inspecting a tire on his tractor-trailer in 1988 when it exploded, fractured his skull and caused him to lose one eye and his top teeth, said his attorney, Paul Kovacs. Mr. Boyer also claims he is unable to work due to severe headaches.
The 40-year-old trucker contends Purcell retreaded the tire at a Potosi, Mo., site, allegedly using Bandag tread rubber although the plant was not authorized to use the Bandag retreading process, according to Mr. Kovacs, a partner in Brinker, Doyen and Kovacs, a St. Louis law firm.
A Bandag spokesman said the Muscatine, Iowa-based retread franchiser's only comment on the case is:
``Bandag did not manufacture the subject tire. We believe the court made some mistakes with respect to Missouri law and we plan to appeal the ruling.''
Purcell President Robert J. Purcell did not return calls.
Purcell is the fifth largest commercial dealership in North America based on commercial sales, according to a recent TIRE BUSINESS ranking. The dealership, which operates 29 company-owned outlets in the West and Midwest U.S., posted $96 million in 1994 commercial sales.