MARSHALL, Texas (Feb. 6, 2015) — Two Texas families have sued Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. in a federal court in Marshall, accusing the company of strict liability and negligence in a 2012 accident that killed five.
Federico Esquivel Acuna was driving a 2003 GMC Envoy with 11 passengers westbound on Interstate 20 near Marshall on Aug. 20, 2012. The GMC Envoy's seating capacity is listed as five.
The vehicle's right rear tire — a Cooper Discoverer ATR, size 245/65R17 — suffered an alleged tread belt separation, causing the driver to lose control. The vehicle rolled over and hit a road sign, according to the suit filed Dec. 3, 2014, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division.
The tire's DOT code, DOT number UT15 C8E 1508, indicates it was built at Cooper's plant in Texarkana, Ark., in the 15th week of 2008.
The suit is filed on behalf of two families: Federico Esquivel Acuna and Estela Martinz Torres, and Isaias Jaimes and Elida Torres.
Mr. Acuna and all 11 passengers were injured, according to the suit, and five of them — the Acunas' children Yulisa and Saideth Acuna and Rosbelia, Omar and Yurid Jaimes, children of plaintiffs Isias Jaimes and Elida Torres — died from injuries.