If you have ever driven on the highway, you have probably noticed the grey metal guardrails which line the sides of the road. These guardrails are intended to protect vehicles from going off of the road or crossing into the oncoming traffic lane. However, not all of these guardrails are protecting motorists the way they were intended. At least three lawsuits in several different states have recently been filed alleging that X-LITE guardrail is defectively designed and does not effectively protect motorists.
X-LITE End Terminal Fails to Operate as Designed
The beginning and end of guardrails are called end terminals. These sections of guardrail may look simple, but they are intricately designed to serve several purposes. The X-LITE End Terminal is rounded on the ends and gently slopes toward the ground. This eliminates the sharp ends of the guardrail which, if hit by a car, would do a significant amount of damage to the vehicle and passengers in it.
The end terminals are also designed to slide into the rest of the guardrail during a collision. This is called telescoping. The purpose of this feature is to reduce the impact on a car during a collision as well as to keep the dangerous edge of the guardrail away from the vehicle. The lawsuits allege that the guardrails do not behave as designed when hit by a vehicle.
Faulty Design Proves Deadly
The defective design of these guardrails are being blamed for several deaths. One of these deaths was that of a 37-year-old woman who was driving on the highway when she lost control of her vehicle and veered off of the road into one of the guardrails. Instead of telescoping and bending in the way it is designed to do, the guardrail stood firm. This caused the edge of the guardrail to pierce the vehicle and kill the woman inside. In an interview, the lawyer for the deceased woman’s family said, “No question about it, had the guardrail done what it was supposed to do, I never would have met [her] parents and you and I would not be having this conversation.”
Call Us for Help
When a product designed to keep citizens safe does exactly the opposite, the manufacturers of that product may be held liable. If you or someone you love has been injured or killed by a defective product, contact an experienced San Jose product liability lawyer. Call 408-293-7777 to get the legal guidance you need today.
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