MORRILTON, Ark. (Sept. 12, 2016) — An Arkansas jury has ordered Hankook Tire Co. Ltd. to pay $1.2 million to a dump truck driver who claimed a faulty Hankook truck tire caused his injuries in a 2010 accident.
Elmer Philpot was driving his truck, a 1985 Ford 9000 dump truck loaded with gravel, when the right front tire, a Hankook 385/65R 22.5 radial medium truck tire, allegedly failed, causing him to lose control and crash, according to court documents.
The leg fractures Mr. Philpot suffered led to hip replacement surgery, the complaint said.
The case, heard in the Circuit Court of Conway County, was filed originally in June 2012, court documents show.
Mr. Philpot, 76, also sued his employer and the owner of the truck for failing to properly inspect and maintain the truck and thus providing defective equipment for his use, court documents show. The outcome of that suit is not known.
Expert witnesses for Mr. Philpot testified that the tread separation was caused by a defect originating in the Hankook plant in Daejeon, South Korea, according to a press release issued by Mr. Philpot's attorneys, Kaster Lynch Farrar & Ball L.L.P.
On Sept. 8, the jury found Hankook 100-percent responsible for the accident, the press release said. According to the release, the court also sanctioned Hankook for allegedly withholding information during discovery.
“We forced this company to turn over key documents, and that made a big difference during the trial,” said Bruce Kaster, an Ocala, Fla.-based attorney and a longtime specialist in tire product liability litigation.
In a prepared statement, Hankook Tire America Corp. said it is “carefully considering future proceedings and will work towards the best outcome.”
The company added it is “committed to providing quality products and ensuring customer safety, and is continuing its efforts for consumer satisfaction” and that it “values every single consumer of our products.”