The Texas Supreme Court has reversed an $11 million judgment against Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. in a product liability lawsuit, concluding the plaintiffs' expert testimony did not meet a reliability standard, according to court documents.
The case stemmed from a 1997 accident involving a Mazda minivan carrying six passengers in New Mexico. The left rear tire, manufactured by Cooper, lost its tread and the vehicle rolled several times and ejected all the passengers except for the driver. Four people died.
The plaintiffs, including driver Oscar Mendez and the passengers' survivors, sued Cooper arguing the tread separated as a result of an alleged manufacturing defect. A jury agreed and awarded an $11 million judgment against Cooper, and an appeals court in 2001 affirmed.
Cooper had argued that the evidence of a manufacturing defect was legally insufficient, and the Supreme Court agreed.