DALLAS (April 15, 2016) — A Dallas County, Texas, judge granted summary judgment April 1 in a product liability lawsuit against Michelin North America Inc., saying there was no evidence to support the plantiffs' claims that the Michelin tire in question was defective and caused the accident.
The lawsuit — Medina et al vs. Michelin North America — claimed a defective Michelin LTX tire failed and caused the driver to lose control of his 2000 Ford Expedition. The Sept. 3, 2012, single-car accident, on Interstate 55 near exit 60 in Illinois, rendered plaintiff Obdulia Medina a quadriplegic and caused injuries to at least two other occupants, the lawsuit states.
134th Judicial District Court Judge Dale B. Tillery issued summary judgment two days before trial was to begin. A summary judgment is a court order ruling that no factual issues remain to be tried and therefore a cause of action or all causes of action in a complaint can be decided upon certain facts without trial, according to law.com.
Michelin said it was prepared to demonstrate to a jury that there was no defect in the tire and that other factors contributed to the accident.
In its response to the decision, Michelin said it “values the court's decision in this case and believes in the high quality of its tires and the rigorous efforts it takes to ensure the safety of its product.”
The Greenville, S.C.-based tire maker added that “it has and will continue to zealously defend its products in cases it knows are without merit.”
The suit was filed originally July 9, 2014, in the Texas District Court and transferred to U.S District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division, in September 2014. The case was remanded to the Texas District Court March 14, 2015.
The original suit said the Expedition's left rear tire “experienced a catastrophic failure,” leading to the accident, which involved a rollover. The tire in question, a P255/70R16 LTX M/S, was 11 years old at the time of the accident.
The Expedition was fully loaded with seven passengers at the time of the accident, according to information in the lawsuit.