SAN DIEGO, Texas (May 3, 2002) — The Duval County Circuit Court in San Diego has ordered Goodyear to pay $36.9 million to the family of a Hebbronville, Texas, man who died in a vehicle rollover accident last year.
Paul Rios Jr. was driving his truck when a tire—a Kelly Safari AWR newly purchased from a local Quick Lube—allegedly came apart and caused him to lose control of the vehicle. Mr. Rios' family claimed Goodyear knowingly marketed a defective tire, but Goodyear said the tire was 9 years old and had four visible puncture repairs, the last of which was done improperly.
According to an Associated Press report, the jury found that at the time the Kelly tire was manufactured, a rubber compound that was applied did not adhere properly to the brass coating of the tire's steel belt. The jury also concluded there was insufficient warning to the public concerning the alleged defect in the tire, the AP reported.
“This tire should never have been returned to service, and anyone in the tire business would not have put this tire on that vehicle,” the tire maker said in a prepared statement. A Goodyear spokesman said the company plans to appeal.