ST. JOSEPH, Mich. (Oct. 7, 2015) — A jury in a Berrien County, Mich., trial court has ruled in favor of a man who claimed an accident that paralyzed him in 2012 was caused by a defective Goodyear tire.
The jury's award to Harishkumar Patel is valued at $16 million, including costs for future pain and suffering.
Mr. Patel, 58, was driving from his home in South Bend, Ind., to Benton Harbor, Mich., on June 6, 2012, when his Nissan Pathfinder overturned on U.S. Highway 31 in Berrien County. Since the accident, Mr. Patel has been confined to a wheelchair.
The accident was caused by the failure of the right rear tire, according to the complaint. The vehicle was equipped with Goodyear tires, and Mr. Patel claimed in the lawsuit that the tires were inherently defective.
Goodyear, however, said the failed tire had been damaged by a road hazard.
The first trial in the case ended in a hung jury, in October 2014. On Oct. 5, 2015, however, a new jury awarded Mr. Patel $1.3 million for past medical expenses, $7 million for 24-hour medical care, $3 million for past pain and suffering, and $250,000 per year for future pain and suffering for the rest of his life.
“Goodyear is disappointed in the verdict and reviewing its options,” a company spokesman told Tire Business.