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Double Amputee Files Lawsuit Against Guardrail Manufacturer

Jay Traylor was on his way home from when he fell asleep behind the wheel, veered off the highway, and slammed head-on into a guardrail. The guardrail sliced through the floorboard of Traylor’s SUV between the accelerator and brake and continued through the back seat, stopping short of the back door. Traylor’s right leg was severed and his left leg severely mangled; he thought he was going to die. His quick call to 911 did not save his legs, but did save his life. He hopes his recent lawsuit will prevent other victims of such tragedy.

According to the lawsuit, the guardrail, which is manufactured by Trinity Industries, was “defective and unreasonably dangerous” and because of this it did not perform as intended. The suit alleges that in 2005 Trinity made certain design changes its ET-Plus guardrail end terminals, changes significant enough to change how a guardrail reacts when hit by a vehicle. Traylor’s attorney said that Trinity reduced the size of its end terminals to save money and because of the change the guardrail does not collapse properly. The suit also claims that Trinity never “officially notified the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Trinity acknowledged its failure to update the FHWA of the guardrail change until 2012, but said the guardrail has been approved. The company plans to fight the lawsuit. To date, the FHWA has not composed a formal approval letter for the modified guardrail head.

Holding a negligent corporation accountable for a defective product not only compensates the victim for damages, but also allows the problem to become publicly known so that hopefully changes will be made and lives are saved. But, dangerous road cases are often long and drawn out. During this time, the victim may struggle to meet financial obligations due to medical expenses, loss of income, and other expenses as a result of this serious auto accident. Lawsuit Financial may be able to help; we provide financial support to plaintiffs during pending litigation.

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