Guardrail Manufacturer Penalized for Defrauding Government
In what will hopefully be a positive sign for victims and their families who may have been injured by Trinity Industries’ guardrails, a federal judge in Texas handed down a $663 judgement against the company for misrepresenting itself to the federal government. According to a whistleblower lawsuit filed against the guardrail manufacturer in 2012, Trinity Industries allegedly changed a design component of its ET-Plus guardrail but failed to inform federal regulators, which is required by law.
Additionally, it has been alleged that the design change made the guardrails less safe for drivers, turning them into spears in the case of a collision. There have been at least fourteen lawsuits filed against Trinity Industries, blaming the guardrails for injuries and deaths in collisions.
The issue is not over, as Trinity Industries will likely appeal the decision. Additionally, the jury is still out on whether or not the design change made the guardrails less safe. After last year’s verdict in the whistleblower lawsuit, the Federal Highway Administration ordered the guardrail manufacturer to conduct additional crash tests. Dozens of states banned the ET-Plus guardrail in the wake of the verdict against the company. I trust that, with all this additional scrutiny, the truth will come out.
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