A $175 million verdict against a highway guardrail manufacturer accused of defrauding the U.S. government by altering design without prior permission from the Department of Transportation has garnered headlines in recent weeks.
Trinity Industries was accused of changing the end portion of the rails in order to save money, but the changes have reportedly had the effect of posing danger to motorists. While the ends of the guardrails are supposed to deflect the impact of a crash, the allegedly defective ends have resulted in the guardrails acting as a spear, impaling vehicles and causing serious injury and death to those inside.
Recently in Florida, another lawsuit was filed against a different guardrail designer and constructor, as well as the Florida Department of Transportation. Florida’s Fifth District Court of Appeal was asked to reconsider a denial of summary judgment against the engineering company that designed the rails in Transportation Engineering Inc. v. Cruz et al.