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Goodyear to Pay 6.7M After Louisiana Truck Driver Dies from Tire Explosion

Posted on : September 23, 2019

Goodyear Wrongful Death Suit

A Louisiana District Court ordered Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. to pay 6.7M in damages in a wrongful death suit involving a garbage truck driver. 

The victim —  Elwood Breaux Jr. was working for the Solid Waste North Department of the Plaquemines Parish Government when a tire he was inflating on his garbage truck exploded. The force of the air escaping the tire threw him backward causing severe injuries to his chest and abdomen. He spent 28 days in the hospital. He never recovered and eventually died. 

Failure to Warn of Possibility of Serious Injury

Goodyear claimed that there was a written warning of possible injury located on the G182 tire as well as on invoices and brochures sent to the parish. However, the judge in the case found that these warnings were inadequate and failed to specify that an underpressurized tire might explode during inflation. 

The court also determined that the tire manufacturer did not carry out its duty to inform Mr. Breaux and his co-workers of

  • what a sidewall “zipper failure” was,
  • what caused it,
  • how to avoid it, or how to avoid being injured.

Justice Served

The following damages were calculated in the verdict:

  • Breaux’s wife, Irene Breaux, was awarded $1.5 million for her husband’s pain and suffering and $1 million for her own mental anguish, grief and anxiety;
  • Breaux’s six children were awarded $750,000 to $800,000 each, and Breaux’s adult daughters by his first wife $300,000 each.
  • Breaux’s emplooyer, the parish was reimbursed $481,075 for workers’ compensation
  • Louisiana state law will return a portion of this to the family’s share; judicial interest will add at least $1.4 million to the total

Goodyear plans on appealing the ruling. 

Get Help From a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

Wanko Workers’ Comp Lawyers is dedicated to protecting the rights of injured workers’ and their families in Louisiana. We have a successful track record of going up against powerful insurance companies and corporations and delivering fair compensation for our clients. Give us a call (985) 893-6530 to receive a Free consultation or case evaluation.