Firestone and John Deere named in product liability suit

Steve Gonzalez Apr. 17, 2006, 8:58am

Travis Tweedy filed a product liability suit against Bridgestone Firestone and John Deere seeking damages in excess of $150,000 for injuries he allegedly sustained as a result of a faulty tire rim.

According to the lawsuit filed in Madison County Circuit Court April 13, Tweedy was preparing to work with a John Deere tractor as he was laying railroad track with two co-workers on Sept. 6, 2005.

He claims the tractor was equipped with the Firestone multi-piece rim.

Tweedy claims that his supervisor told him the tractor needed air and instructed him to inflate the tire.

Tweedy claims as he was inflating the tire, the side ring of the multi-piece wheel disengaged with explosive force causing the side ring to violently strike him in the head, face, eyes, ears and knee, causing severe and permanent disabling injuries.

According to the complaint, the rim and its components were in a defective condition and unreasonably dangerous in that:

  • The rim and its components were manufactured, distributed, and sold by Firestone without adequate warnings, maintenance, instructions, or training for users and failed to provide users with adequate warnings of defects and hazards;

  • The rim and its components were sold without any type of guard to prevent explosive separation of the side ring from the base rim;

  • The rim was designed in a manner to allow them to be inadequately and improperly affixed to each other, allowing the side ring to disengage from the wheel with great violence and force;

  • Defendants failed to provide users with adequate instructions or testing procedures regarding proper inspection, maintenance, or repair; and

  • The rim and its components were improperly designed so that they were inherently dangerous and unreasonably so, and incapable of being made safe for their intended and ordinary use.

    "The defective and unreasonably dangerous condition of the Firestone rim and its components was the direct and proximate cause of the explosive separation of the side ring which injured Travis Tweedy," the complaint states.

    Tweedy claims he has suffered and will continue to suffer severe physical and emotional pain, mental anguish, depression and humiliation.

    He also claims that he has become liable for medical expenses and has lost the ability to earn wages.

    Tweedy also is seeking damages from D&D Tire and Service Center in Girard claiming it failed to use ordinary care in servicing and mounting the rim and tire and that employees weren't properly trained in the servicing, installation, disassembly and mounting of multi-piece rims.

    He also claims D&D failed to test or inspect the rim prior to remounting the rim and other negligent and careless acts discovery will reveal.

    Tweedy is represented by John Simon and Jamie Boock of Simon Passanante in St. Louis.

    The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Daniel Stack.

    06 L 338

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