ERJ staff report (LMH)
Des Moines, Iowa – The Iowa Court of Appeals has upheld a $32.8 million jury verdict against Findlay, Ohio-based Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. in a tire-tread separation accident that killed one person and injured several others.
The ruling affirms a 2010 jury verdict issued in Iowa's Polk County District Court that found Cooper Tire responsible for the 17 Sept 2007 fatal rollover crash involving a group of employees from a local meatpacking plant who were carpooling in a van to work.
Law firm Farrar & Ball, which represented the six passengers in the van and their families, said in a 25 April news release the crash killed one employee, paralysed another, and left the others severely injured.
Trial evidence showed that the rollover crash resulted from a tire defect that caused a catastrophic tread separation of the van's left rear tire, the law firm said in the statement, adding that they also told jurors “how Cooper Tire executives knew that an updated tire design would be safer, but delayed necessary changes in order to save money”.
The trial court jury found that Cooper Tire defectively designed and manufactured the Cooper Lifeliner Classic II tire, Farrar & Ball reported.
The appellate decision in Ivon Toe, et al. v. Cooper Tire and Rubber Company, et al., No. 3-013/11-1588, was handed down Wednesday, 24 April 2013, affirming a jury verdict of more than $31.3 million in actual damages and $1.5 million in punitive damages.
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news release from Farrar & Ball