X-LITE Guardrail Lawsuit
Lindsay Transportation Systems’ X-LITE guardrail end has now been linked to at least seven deaths in three states: Tennessee (four), Missouri (two), and Virginia (one).
The deaths are often grisly, with the guardrail acting as a spear that impales the passenger. Instead of telescoping—wherein the rails’ parts slide into each other, absorbing the impact of the crash—the X-LITE rails sometimes pierce the vehicle and its occupants.
Guardrail victims’ families have filed lawsuits alleging that the guardrail ends were defectively designed.
Lindsay has denied that the X-LITE guardrail ends have any structural or design flaws. But the state of Tennessee will pay about $3.6 million to replace its 1,800 X-LITE guardrail ends.
The families of guardrail victims are taking action as well. Several have filed lawsuits against Lindsay Corp. alleging that the guardrail ends were defectively designed.
If you or a loved one were injured or killed by a defective guardrail, contact ClassAction.com today for a free, no-obligation legal consultation. You could be owed money for damages.
Families of Guardrail Victims File Lawsuits
In June 2017, two families of guardrail victims in Tennessee filed lawsuits against Lindsay for deceptive advertising, defective design, and negligence. They also allege that the X-LITE guardrails were not installed properly, and that Lindsay “knew or should have known” about the risks associated with its products.
In the deaths of 21-year-old Lauren Beuttel and 18-year-old Jacob Davison (in the same accident), the Tennessee Department of Transportation’s (TDOT’s) communications director B.J. Doughty acknowledged that the X-LITE guardrails “did not perform as they were intended to.”
TDOT’s communications director acknowledged that the guardrails “did not perform as they were intended to.”
Lauren Beuttel’s mother, Ladeana Gambill, told CBS News, “To think that she died senselessly—that’s why we want to bring awareness to this issue. So that other folks don’t lose their children in this manner.”
In a letter from TDOT commissioner Joan Schroer to the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA’s) Tennessee branch, TDOT acknowledged that in some crashes the guardrail ends failed to telescope as they should. The letter also noted that some unclear X-LITE instructions “may cause installation deficiencies.”
Steven Eimers—the father of 17-year-old guardrail victim Hannah Eimers—fought to get the X-LITE guardrails off Tennessee’s roads. “TDOT knew this was dangerous and that it wasn’t performing well,” he said.
“They should have removed it, but their policy was to leave it on the road, playing Russian roulette with people’s lives.”
X-LITE’s Parent Company Tested Its Own Guardrails
One red flag in terms of the X-LITE guardrails’ safety is the fact that Lindsay owns the lab, Safe Technologies Inc., that conducted the safety tests that earned X-LITE its Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) approval in 2011.
Lindsay says it informed the FHWA that it owned Safe Technologies. The company released a statement in April, which reads, “The X-LITE guardrail terminal successfully passed crash and safety tests in accordance with federal standards and criteria, and remains qualified for use on America’s roadways.”
“FHWA’s oversight of the [crash testing] process does not address potential threats to independence.”
Critics say these guardrails need more—and more independent—tests before they are installed on roads; otherwise actual drivers become guinea pigs or crash test dummies.
A 2016 study by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), “More Robust DOT Oversight of Guardrails and Other Roadside Hardware Could Further Enhance Safety,” concluded that “FHWA’s oversight of the [crash testing] process does not address potential threats to independence.”
Should these guardrail lawsuits make it to court, that GAO study will not reflect well on Lindsay’s safety tests.
Guardrail Lawsuit Eligibility & Compensation
If you or a loved one were injured in an accident by a defectively designed guardrail (one that failed to telescope as intended), such as the X-LITE, you could be eligible for a guardrail lawsuit.
A guardrail lawsuit may provide compensation for the following:
- Bodily injury/pain and suffering
- Disability or physical impairment
- Medical bills
- Lost wages or impaired earning ability
- Loss of consortium
- Mental anguish
- Vehicle damage
- Funeral expenses (in the event of a loved one’s death)
Get a Free Legal Consultation
Only an attorney can determine if you have a case against guardrail manufacturers like Lindsay. Our firm has a strong track record of taking on large companies; to date, we have won more than $4 billion for clients. We will not hesitate to take your case to trial if that means getting the best results.
Contact us today to learn your rights and explore your options. Don’t wait; you could be owed money.